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- F. A. COX, D.D., LL.D. 


B. DAVIES, Ph. D. 



F. W. GOTCH, M.A. 


J. HOBY, D.D. 






Rev. G. H. ORCHARD. 

J. J. OWEN. 










IT has been a matter of regret with many, that the writings of the early members 
and ministers of the Baptist churches of this country should be comparatively so 
little known. The present appears to be a favourable time to reprint such of them 
as may be deemed worthy of perpetuation, from their historical or theological 

These writings are confined to no peculiarity of sentiment, but embrace every topic 
of divine truth, which the word of God presents for the salvation of the believer, as 
well as for the regulation of the church of Christ. 

To the Baptists, belongs the honour of first asserting in this land, and of establish 
ing on the immutable basis of just argument and scripture rule, the right of every 
man to worship God as conscience dictates, in submission only to divine command. 

Rejecting the authority of men in matters of faith, they wrote with great simpli 
city and directness of purpose. Scripture alone was their authority, and excepting 
some of their polemical works, their productions are remarkably free from that parade 
of learning which was the fault of their age. 

They where not, however, destitute of learning. Most of the early Baptists had 
had an university education : and if this privilege was not enjoyed by their suc 
cessors, it was because the national seats of learning denied it to them. The names of 
Bampfield, Canne, Corn well, Danvers, l)elaune, Du Veil, Denne, Grantham, 
Jessey, Knollys, Smyth, and Tombes, are sufficient to prove that the Baptist churches 
were not destitute of able and learned expounders of their sentiments, eminent for 
their attainments in both classical and divine knowledge. 

The historical value of the works which it is proposed to reproduce, is very great. 
Their authors exercised no mean influence on the course of national affairs during the 
period of Cromwell s protectorate, and they became in subsequent reigns, as they had 
been in times preceding the Commonwealth, the especial objects of ecclesiastical and 
political persecution. Some of the works which it is desired to publish will also 
embrace the period of the Reformation, and illustrate the sufferings endured, by the 
baptists of that eventful period, for conscience sake. 

As theological writers they are characterized by fervour of spirit ; deep study of the 
word of God ; great facility of application of divine truths to passing events ; a holy 
attachment to " the truth as it is in Jesus ;" clear and pungent exhibitions of the 
word of life ; an uncompromising adherence to the scriptures as the rule of doctrine, 
practice, and ecclesiastical organization and discipline ; and finally, a fearless follow 
ing of their convictions, derived from the divine oracles. 

Works of this kind are also wanting for our congregational and family libraries. 
It is to be feared that too many of us are ignorant of our own history, and of the 
great and good men who lost all in the maintenance of our principles. 

The series of proposed volumes will include the works of both General and Par 
ticular Baptists ; Records and Manuscripts relating to the rise and progress of Baptist 
churches ; Translations of such works as may illustrate the sufferings of the Baptists 
and the extension of their principles, together with such Documents as are to be 
found only in large historical collections, or may not yet have appeared in an acces 
sible form. On the Baptismal controversy only those treatises will be given, which are 
of acknowledged worth or historic value. The whole will be accompanied with 
biographical notices of the authors, and with such notes and illustrations as may 
be essential to their completeness. 

The publications will consist of works produced before the close of the seventeenth 
century. The following list comprises the names of some of the authors whose works 
are intended to form part of the series ; Bampfield, Blackwood, Bunyan, Canne, 
Collier, Collins, Cornwall, Danvers, Delaune, Denne, Du Veil, Drapes, Grantham, 
Griffith, Helwys, How, Jeffrey, Jessey, Keach, Kiffin, King, Knollys, Lawrence, 
Palmer, Powell, Pendarves, Smyth, Stennett, Tombes, Roger Williams, &c. 

of Subscription. 

1 . Every subscriber of ten shillings and sixpence annually will be entitled to one copy of 

every work issued during the year of his subscription. Two volumes at least will be 
published for the 10s. 6d. 

2. Subscriptions will be considered due, in advance on the first of January of every year. 
3 Ministers and Sunday Schools obtaining each ten subscribers annually, will be entitled 

to one copy of every work published in the year for which such subscriptions are paid. 
4. Books will be delivered, free of expense, in London, Edinburgh, and Dublin, from 
which places they will be sent at the cost of the subscriber by any channel he 
may appoint. 

Subscriptions will be received by the Treasurer, at Vassall Road, Kennington ; by the 
Honorary Secretaries, Mr. UNDERBILL, of Newmarket House, Nailsworth; Rev. W. 
JONES, at Stepney College ; or by any member of the Council ; also by Mr. G. OFFOR, 
jun., Secretary, Baptist Mission House, Moorgate Street, London, to whom all commu 
nications for the Society should be addressed, or at the Depository, B. L. GREEN S. 68. 
Paternoster Row. 


















IT was on the 1st day of December, in the year 1630, that 
Mr. Roger Williams, with his wife, embarked at Bristol for 
America, in the ship Lyon, Captain William Pierce. 

Two years and a half before, a number of eminent and 
enthusiastic men had gone forth, animated by religious prin 
ciples and purposes, to seek a home and a refuge from perse 
cution, on the wild and untenanted shores of Massachusetts 
Bay. Charles I. had announced his design of ruling the 
English people by arbitrary power, only a few days before 
a patent for the Company of Massachusetts Bay passed the 
seals. 1 No provision was made in this document for the 
exercise of religious liberty. The emigrants were puritans, 
and although they had suffered long for conscience sake, 
on this subject their views were as contracted as those of 
their brethren who in Elizabeth s reign sought the overthrow 
of England s hierarchy. 2 The patent secured to them, how 
ever, to a great extent, a legislative independence of the 
mother country; but they soon employed that power to 
persecute differing consciences. 

The emigrants landed at Salem at the end of June, 1629. 

1 Bancroft s Hist, of U. S. i. 342. Knowles Life of R. Williams, p. 31. 
a See Broadmead Records, Introd. p. xxii. 
a 3 


A few mud hovels alone marked the place of their future 
abode. On their passage they arranged the order of their 
government, and bound themselves by solemn covenant to 
each other and the Lord. As religion was the cause of their 
abandonment of their native land, so was its establishment 
their first care. At their request a few of the settlers at 
Plymouth, where, in 1620,a colony had been established by 
the members of Mr. John Robinson s church, came over to 
assist and advise on the arrangement of their church polity. 
After several conferences, the order determined on was the 
congregational, and measures were immediately taken for 
the choice of elders and deacons. A day of fasting and 
prayer was appointed, and thirty persons covenanted together 
to walk in the ways of God. Mr. Skelton was chosen pastor, 
Mr. Higginson teacher, both puritan clergymen of celebrity, 
and Mr. Houghton ruling elder. They agreed with the 
church at Plymouth, " That the children of the faithful are 
church members with their parents, and that their baptism is 
a seal of their being so." 3 

The church was thus self-constituted. It owned no alle 
giance to bishop, priest, or king. It recognized but one 
authority the King of saints: but one rule the word of 
God. The new system did not, however, meet with the 
approbation of all this little company. Some still fondly 
clung to the episcopacy of their native land, and to the more 
imposing rites of their mother church. The main body of 
the emigrants did not altogether refuse to have communion 
with the church which had so unnaturally driven them away ; 
but, as they said, they separated from her corruptions, 
and rejected the human inventions in worship which they 
discovered in her fold. Not so all. Liberty of worship they 
desired indeed, but not a new form of polity. Two brothers, 
John and Samuel Browne, the one a lawyer, the other a 
merchant, were the leaders of this little band. They wished 
the continuance of the Common Prayer, of the ceremonies 

3 Neal s Hist, of N. England, i. 141, 144. Baillie s Dissuasive, p. 66. Mather s 
Magnalia. i. 10. 


usually observed in the administration of baptism and the 
Lord s Supper, and a wider door for the entrance of members 
into a church state. Dissatisfied with the new order of 
things, they set up a separate assembly. This was a mutiny 
against the state, as well as against the church ; and proving 
incorrigible, the brothers were sent home in "the Lyon s 
Whelp." 4 

In the year 1630, a large addition was made to the pilgrim 
band, on the arrival of Governor Winthrop. Not less than 
1500 persons accompanied him, to escape the bigotry and 
persecuting spirit of Laud. Several new settlements were 
formed, and the seat of the colonial government was fixed at 
Boston. Though sincere in their attachment to true religion, 
and desirous of practising its duties unmolested by episcopal 
tyranny, they thought not of toleration for others. No such 
idea had dawned upon them. They were prepared to prac 
tise over other consciences the like tyranny to that from 
which they had fled. 

With nobler views than these did Mr. Williams disembark 
at Boston, after a very tempestuous voyage, on the 5th of 
February in the year 1631. The infant colony had suffered 
very much during the winter from the severity of the 
weather, and the scarcity of provisions. The arrival of the 
Lyon was welcomed with gratitude, as the friendly interpo 
sition of the hand of God. 5 

Roger Williams was at this time little more than thirty B 
years of age "a young minister, godly and zealous, having 
precious gifts." 6 Tradition tells us, that he was born in 
Wales : that he was in some way related to Cromwell : that 
his parents were in humble life : and that he owed his educa 
tion to Sir Edward Coke, who, accidentally observing his 
attention at public worship, and ascertaining the accuracy of 
the notes he took of the sermon, sent him to the University 
of Oxford. All this may or may not be true; but it is 

* Neal, i. 144. Bancroft, i. 350. England, i. 45. 
Cotton Mather s Magnali:i, book i. p. * Knowles, p. 37. 

1.9. Backus 1 Hist, of Baptists in New 6 Bancroft, i, 307. 


evident that his education was liberal, and that he had a 
good acquaintance with the classics and the original lan 
guages of the scriptures. 

He himself informs us, that in his early years his heart was 
imbued with spiritual life. " From my childhood, the Father 
of lights and mercies touched my soul with a love to himself, 
to his only begotten, the true Lord Jesus, to his holy scrip 
tures." 7 At this time he must have been about twelve years 
old. His first studies were directed to the law, probably at 
the suggestion of his patron. He became early attached to 
those democratic principles which are so ably stated in the 
"Bloudy Tenent," and to those rights of liberty which 
found so able a defender in the aged Coke. Subsequently, 
however, he turned his attention to theology, and assumed 
the charge of a parish. It was during this period that he 
became acquainted with the leading emigrants to America ; 
and he appears to have been the most decided amongst them 
in their opposition to the liturgy, ceremonies, and hierarchy 
of the English church. 8 It is probable that it was upon the 
subject of the grievances they endured, he had the interview 
with King James of which he speaks in a letter written late 
in life.9 

It was a notable year, both in Old and in New England, 
in which Williams sought a refuge for conscience amid the 
wilds of America. Autocratic rule was decided upon by the 
infatuated Charles, and the utterance of the most arbitrary 
principles from the pulpits of the court clergy was encour 
aged. Doctrines subversive of popular rights were taught, 
and the sermons containing them published at the king s 

7 Knowles, p. 23, 391. Backus, i. with them in their use of Common 
5()8 - Prayer." Bloody Tenent more Bloody, 

8 Master Cotton may call to mind p. 12. See also pp. 43 and 374 of the 
that the discusser [Williams], riding present volume. Baillie s Dissuasive, 
with himself and one other of precious p. 55. 

memory, Master Hooker, to and from 9 In his letter to Major Mason, he 

Sempringham, presented his arguments refers to " King James, whom I have 

from scripture, why he durst not join spoke with." Knowles, p. 31. /70. 


special command. Laud assumed a similar authority in 
ecclesiastical affairs. With unscrupulous zeal and severity 
he sought to extirpate puritanism from the church. The 
Calvinistic interpretation of the articles was condemned, and 
Bishop Davenant was rebuked for a sermon which he preached 
upon the 17th. The puritans were to a man Calvinists, the 
Laudean party were Arminians. And as if to give the 
former practical proof of the lengths to which Laud was 
prepared to go, and to shut them up either to silence or to 
voluntary banishment, Leighton, for his " Plea against Pre- - 
lacy," was this year committed to prison for life, fined ; 
10,000, degraded from his ministry, whipped, pilloried, InV 
ears cut off, his nose slit, and his face branded with a hot I 
iron. From this tyranny over thought and conscience, Wil 
liams fled, only to bear his testimony against similar outrages 
upon conscience and human rights in the New World to 
find the same principles in active operation among the very 
men, who, like him, had suffered, and who, like him, sought 
relief on that distant shore. 

No sooner had Mr. Williams landed at Boston, than we 
find him declaring his opinion, that "the magistrate might 
not punish a breach of the sabbath, nor any other offence, as 
it was a breach of the first table." 1 Moreover, so impure 
did he deem the communion of the church of England, that 
he hesitated to hold communion with any church that con 
tinued in any manner favourable to it. This was, however, 
the case with the church at Boston. It refused to regard 
the hierarchy and parishional assemblies of the English church 
as portions of the abominations of anti-christ. It permitted its 
members, when in England, to commune with it, in hearing 
the worcl and in the private administration of the sacraments. 2 
Thus while separating from its corruptions, the emigrants 
clave to it with a fond pertinacity. This was displeasing to the 
free soul of Williams. He refused to join the congregation 
at Boston. It would have been a weak and sinful com- 

1 Such is Governor Winthrop s testimony. Knowles, p. 4(j. 
3 Welde s Answer to W. R. p. 10. 4to. 16-14. 


pliance with evil. He could not regard the cruelties, and 
severities, and oppression, exercised by the church of England, 
with any feelings but those of indignation. That could not 
be the true church of Christ ; on whose skirts was found 
sprinkled the blood of saints and martyrs. He therefore 
gladly accepted the invitation of the church at Salem, and a 
few weeks after his arrival ; he left Boston to enter upon the 
pastorate there. 

But on the very same day on which he commenced his 
ministry at Salem (April 12), the General Court of the 
Colony expressed its disapprobation of the step, and required 
the church to forbear any further proceeding. This was an 
arbitrary and unjust interference with the rights of the 
Salem church. As a congregational and independent com 
munity, it had a perfect right to select Mr. Williams for 
its pastor. The choice of its ministry is one of the church s 
most sacred privileges, to be exercised only in subordination 
to the laws and to the will of its great Head. This right 
the General Court most flagrantly violated, and thus laid the 
foundation for that course of resistance which eventually 
led to the banishment of Mr. Williams. 2 

To the civil government of the colony Mr. Williams was 
prepared to give all due submission. Very soon after his 
arrival, he entered his name upon the list of those who 
desired to be made freemen, and on the 1 2th of May took the 
customary oaths. Yet as if to bring into conflict at the 
earliest moment, and to excite the expression of those 
generous sentiments on religious and civil liberty which 
animated the soul of Mr. Williams, on that very day the 
court " ordered and agreed, that for the time to come, no 
man shall be admitted to the freedom of this body politic, 
but such as are members of some of the churches within the 
limits of the same." Thus a theocracy was established. 
The government belonged to the saints. They alone could 
rule in the commonwealth, or be capable of the exercise of 

a Backus, i. 54, 57. 


civil rights. " Not only was the door of calling to magis 
tracy shut against natural and unregenerate men, though 
excellently fitted for civil offices, but also against the best 
and ablest servants of God, except they be entered into 
church estate." 3 This was to follow, according to Williams 
idea, "Moses church constitution," "to pluck up the roots 
and foundations of all common society in the world, to turn 
the garden and paradise of the church and saints into the 
field of the civil state of the world, and to reduce the world 
to the first chaos or confusion." Our readers will find his 
reasons at large, against this perilous course, in the subse 
quent pages of this volume. 4 

As peace could not be enjoyed at Salem, before the end of 
the summer Mr. Williams withdrew to Plymouth ; " where," 
says Governor Bradford, " he was freely entertained, accord 
ing to our poor ability, and exercised his gifts among us ; 
and after some time was admitted a member of the church, 
and his teaching well approved." 5 Two years he laboured 
in the ministry of the word among the pilgrim fathers ; but 
it would seem not without proclaiming those principles of 
freedom which had already made him an object of jealousy. 
For on requesting his dismissal thence to Salem, in the 
autumn of 1635, we find the elder, Mr. Brewster, persuading 
the church at Plymouth to relinquish communion with him, 
lest he should " run the same course of rigid separation and 
anabaptistry which Mr. John Smith, the se-baptist, at Am 
sterdam, had done." 6 It was during his residence at Ply- 

3 See pp. 287, 247, 353. Knowles, church formed without it, were deprived 

pp. 45, 49. Backus, i. 49. Bancroft, of the franchise. Backus, i. 77. 

i. 3fiO. At Taunton, the minister, Mr. * See pp. 247, 287, 353, &c. " Mr. 

Streete, " publicly and earnestly per- Cotton effectually recommended, that 

suaded his church members to give none should be elected nor electors 

land to none but such as might be fit therein, except such as were visible 

for church members: yea, not to receive subjects of our Lord Jesus Christ, per- 

such English into the town." Bloody sonally confederated in our churches." 

Tenent more Bloody, p. 283. By a Mather s Magnalia, b. iii. p. 21. 

subsequent law no church could be 5 Backus, i. 54. Knowles, p. 50. 

constituted without the sanction of the Knowles, p. 53. Mr. Cotton, in his 

magistrates: and the members of any Answer to Roger Williams, tells us that 


mouth that he acquired that knowledge of the Indian 
language, and that acquaintance with the chiefs of the Nar- 
ragansetts, which became so serviceable to him in his banish 

His acceptance of their invitation afforded sincere and 
great pleasure to the church at Salem. His former ministry 
amongst them had resulted in a warm attachment, and not a 
few left Plymouth to place themselves under his spiritual 
care. Two or three weeks only could have passed after his 
return, when, on the 3rd of September, Mr. Cotton, his 
destined antagonist in the strife on liberty of conscience, 
landed at Boston, in company with Mr. Hooker and Mr. 
Stone ; which " glorious triumvirate coming together, made 
the poor people in the wilderness to say, That the God of 
heaven had supplied them with what would in some sort 
answer their three great necessities : Cotton for their clothing, 
Hooker for their fishing, and Stone for their building." 7 

John Cotton was the son of a puritan lawyer. Educated 
at Cambridge, he had acquired a large amount of learning ; 
and by his study of the schoolmen sharpened the natural 
acuteness and subtilty of his mind. In theology he was a 
thorough Calvinist, and adopted in all their extent the 
theocratic principles of the great Genevan reformer. On his 
arrival in New England, he was immediately called upon to 
advise and arrange the civil and ecclesiastical affairs of the 
colony. By his personal influence the churches were settled 
in a regular and permanent form, and their laws of discipline 
were finally determined by the platform adopted at Cam 
bridge in 1648. The civil laws were adjusted to the polity 
of the church, and while nominally distinct, they supported 
and assisted each other, 8 

"elder Brewster warned the whole 8 Knowles, pp. 42, 43. "It was 

church of the danger of his spirit, which requested of Mr. Cotton," says his 

moved the better part of the church to descendant Cotton Mather, " that he 

be glad of his removal from them into would from the laws wherewith God 

the Bay." Cotton s Answer, p. 4. governed his ancient people, form an 

7 Mather s Magnalia, iii.20. Cotton s abstract of such as were of a moral and 

Way of Cong. Churches, pp. 16, 30. lasting equitv; which he performed as 


Matter for complaint was soon discovered against Mr. 
Williams. At Plymouth he had already urged objections 
relative to the royal patent, under which the colonists held 
their lands. A manuscript treatise concerning it now 
became the subject of consideration by the General Court. 
In this work, Mr. Williams appears to have questioned the 
King s right to grant the possession of lands which did not 
belong to him, but to the natives who hunted over them. 
Equity required that they should be fairly purchased of the 
Indian possessors. Mr. Williams was " convented" before 
the Court. Subsequently, he gave satisfaction to his judges 
of his " intentions and loyalty," and the matter was passed 
by. It will be seen, however, that this accusation was 
revived, and declared to be one of the causes of his banish 
ment. 9 

For a few months, during the sickness of Mr. Skelton, 
Mr. Williams continued his ministry without interruption, 
and with great acceptance. On the 2nd of August, 1634, 
Mr. Skelton died, and the Salem church shortly thereafter 
chose him to be their settled teacher. To this the magistrates 
and ministers objected. His principles were obnoxious to 
them. They sent a request to the church, that they would 
not ordain him. But in the exercise of their undoubted 
right the church persisted, and Mr. Williams was regularly 
induct edto the office of teacher. 1 

Occasion was soon found to punish the church and its re 
fractory minister. On November the 17th, he was summoned 
to appear before the Court, for again teaching publicly " against 
the king s patent, and our great sin in claiming right thereby 
to this country : and for terming the churches of England 

acceptably as judiciously He Williams, p. 4. This is usually bound 

propounded unto them, an endeavour up with the "Bloudy Tenent Washed," 

after a theocracy, as near as might be and cited as part II. : it is, however, a 

to that which was the glory of Israel, separate piece, and separately paged, 

the peculiar people." Magnalia, iii. 20. and is Cotton s Answer to the second 

Backus, i. 79. treatise in this volume. 

9 Knowles, p. 57, 61. Master John l Cotton s Answer, p. 4. Knowles, 

Cotton s Answer to Master Roger p. 61. Mather, vii. 7. Backus, i. 57. 


antichristian." A new accusation was made on the 30th of 
the following April, 1635. He had taught publicly, it was 
said, " that a magistrate ought not to tender an oath to an 
unregenerate man, for that we thereby have communion with 
a wicked man in the worship of God, and cause him to take 
the name of God in vain. He was heard before all the 
ministers, and very clearly confuted." 2 In the month of July 
he was again summoned to Boston, and some other dangerous 
opinions were now laid to his charge. He was accused of 
maintaining : That the magistrate ought not to punish 
the breach of the first table, otherwise than in such cases as 
did disturb the civil peace : That a man ought not to pray 
with the unregenerate, though wife or child That a man 
ought not to give thanks after the sacrament, nor after meat. 
But the aggravation of his offences was that, notwithstanding 
these crimes were charged upon him, the church at Salem, 
in spite of the magisterial admonitions, and the exhortations 
of the pastors, had called him to the office of teacher. To 
mark their sense of this recusancy, the Salem people were 
refused, three days after, the possession of a piece of land 
for which they had applied, and to which they had a just 
claim. 3 

This flagrant wrong induced Mr. Williams and his church 
to write admonitory letters to the churches of which these 
magistrates were members, requesting them to admonish the 
magistrates of the criminality of their conduct, it being a 
"breach of the rule of justice." The letters were thus 
addressed because the members of the churches were the 
only freemen, and the only parties interested in the civil 
government of the colony. They were without effect. 
His own people began to waver under the pressure of minis 
terial power and influence. Mr. Williams s health too gave 
way, " by his excessive labours, preaching thrice a week, by 
labours night and day in the field ; and by travels night and 

* Kncnvles, p. 66. Backus, i. 67, 68. See also p. 422 of 

1 So Winthrop, Knowles, pp. 6870. this volume. Cotton s Answer, p. 4. 


day to go and come from the Court." Even his wife added 
to his affliction by her reproaches, ee till at length he drew 
her to partake with him in the error of his way." 4 He now 
declared his intention to withdraw communion from all the 
churches in the Bay, and from Salem also if they would not 
separate with him. His friend Endicot was imprisoned for 
justifying the letter of admonition, and Mr. Sharpe was 
summoned to appear to answer for the same. In October he 
was called before the Court for the last time. All the 
ministers were present. They had already decided "that 
any one was worthy of banishment who should obstinately 
assert, that the civil magistrate might not intermeddle even 
to stop a church from apostacy and heresy." 5 His letters 
were read, which he justified ; he maintained all his opinions. 
After a disputation with Mr. Hooker, who could not " reduce 
him from any of his errors," he was sentenced to banishment 
in six weeks, all the ministers, save one, approving of the 
deed. 6 

Before proceeding to detail the subsequent events of his 
history, it will be necessary to make a few remarks on the 
topics of accusation brought against Mr. Williams, and 
especially since they are often referred to in the pages of 
the works now in the reader s hands. 

The causes of his banishment are given by Mr. Williams 
in p. 375 of this volume, with which agrees Governor 
Winthrop s testimony cited above. Mr. Cotton, however, 
does not concur in this statement : the two last causes he 

* See p. 372. Cotton s Answer, pp. here, and that before any conviction, 

5, 9. Cotton treats his sickness as a and yet maintaineth the same without 

u check from the hand of God," p. 56. any retractation ; it is therefore ordered 

5 See pp. 387, 388. Bancroft, i. 373. that the said Mr. Williams shall depart 

fi Knowles, pp. 71, 72. The sen- out of this jurisdiction within six 

tence was as follows : " Whereas Mr. weeks, now next ensuing, which, if he 

Roger Williams, one of the elders ol neglect to perform, it shall be lawful 

the church of Salem, hath broached for the governor and two of the magis- 

and divulged divers new and dangerous trates to send him to some place out of 

opinions, against the authority of magis- this jurisdiction, not to return any more 

trates ; as also writ letters of defamation, without licencefrom the Court." Backus, 

both of the magistrates and churches i. 69, 70. 


denies, giving as his reason, " that many are known to hold 
both those opinions, and are yet tolerated not only to live in 
the commonwealth, but also in the fellowship of the 
churches." The other two points, he likewise asserts, were 
held by some, who yet were permitted to enjoy both civil 
and church liberties. 7 What then were the grounds of this 
harsh proceeding according to Mr. Cotton ? They were as 
follows : " Two things there were, which to my best 
observation, and remembrance, caused the sentence of his 
banishment : and two other fell in, that hastened it. 1. His 
violent and tumultuous carriage against the patent. . . 2. The 
magistrates, and other members of the general Court upon 
intelligence of some episcopal and malignant practices against 
the country, they made an order of Court to take trial of the 
fidelity of the people, not by imposing upon them, but by 
offering to them, an oath of fidelity. This oath when it came 
abroad, he vehemently withstood it, and dissuaded sundry 
from it, partly because it was, as he said, Christ s prerogative 
to have his office established by oath : partly because an oath 
was a part of God s worship, and God s worship was not to 
be put upon carnal persons, as he conceived many of the 
people to be." The two concurring causes were : 1. That 
notwithstanding his "heady and turbulent spirit," which 
induced the magistrates to advise the church at Salem not to 
call him to the office of teacher, yet the major part of the 
church made choice of him. And when for this the Court 
refused Salem the parcel of land, Mr. Williams stirred up 
the church to unite with him in letters of admonition to the 
churches " whereof those magistrates were members, to 
admonish them of their open transgression of the rule of 
justice." 2. That when by letters from the ministers the 
Salem church was inclined to abandon their teacher, Mr. 
Williams renounced communion with Salem and all the 
churches in the Bay, refused to resort to public worship, and 
preached to " sundry who began to resort to his family," on 
the Lord s day. 8 

7 Cotton s Answer, p. 26. 8 Cotton s Answer, pp. 2730. 


On examination, it is evident that the two statements do not 
materially differ. Mr. Williams held the patents to be 
sinful " wherein Christian kings, so called, are invested with 
right by virtue of their Christianity, to take and give away 
the lands and countries of other men," 9 It were easy to 
represent opposition to the patent of New England as over 
throwing the foundation on which colonial laws were framed, 
and as a denial of the power claimed by the ministers and 
the General Court " to erect such a government of the 
church as is most agreeable to the word." Such was Mr. 
Cotton s view, and which he succeeded in impressing on the 
minds of the magistrates. Mr. Williams may perhaps have 
acquired somewhat of his jealousy concerning these patents 
from the instructions of Sir Edward Coke, who so nobly 
withstood the indiscriminate granting of monopolies in the 
parliament of his native land. 1 There can be no question 
that Williams was substantially right. His own practice, 
when subsequently laying the basis for the state of Rhode 
Island, evinces the equity, uprightness, and generosity of his 
motives. Perhaps too his views upon the origin of all 
governmental power may have had some influence in pro 
ducing his opposition. He held that the sovereignty lay in 
the hands of the people. No patent or royal rights could 
therefore be alleged as against the popular will. That must 
make rulers, confirm the laws, and control the acts of the 
executive. Before it patents, privileges, and monopolies, 
the exclusive rights of a few, must sink away. 

Moreover, it is clear, from Cotton s own statement, that 
this question of the patent involved that of religious liberty. 
The colony claimed under it the right of erecting a church, 
of framing an ecclesiastical polity : and it exercised it. Eccle 
siastical laws were made every whit as stringent as the canons 
of the establishment of the mother country. Already we have 
seen that church members alone could be freemen. Every adult 
person was compelled to be present at public congregational 
worship, and to support both ministry and church with pay- 

9 Bloody Tenent more Bloody, p. 276. .Bancroft, i. 327. 



ment of dues enforced by magisterial power. 2 " Three 
months was, by the law, the time of patience to the excom 
municate, before the secular power was to deal with him :" 
then the obstinate person might be fined, imprisoned, or 
banished. Several persons were banished for noncompliance 
with the state religion. 3 In 1644, a law was promulgated 
against the baptists, by which " it is ordered and agreed, 
that if any person or persons, within this jurisdiction, shall 
either openly condemn or oppose the baptizing of infants," 
or seduce others, or leave the congregation during the ad 
ministration of the rite, they " shall be sentenced to banish 
ment." The same year we accordingly find that a poor man 
was tied up and whipped for refusing to have his child 
sprinkled. 4 Heresy, blasphemy, and some other the like 
crimes, exposed the culprit to expatriation. It was against 
this course that Mr. Williams afterwards wrote his " Bloudy 
Tenent ;" and through the " sad evil " " of the civil magis 
trates dealing in matters of conscience and religion, as also 
of persecuting and hunting any for any matter merely spiri 
tual and religious," which he opposed, was he banished. 5 

The question of the patent could not therefore be discussed 
in the General Court without involving a discussion upon 
religious liberty. Mr. Cotton has chosen to make most pro 
minent, in his articles of accusation, the question of the 

2 See pp. 249, 257, 262. Mr. Cot- the elders and others, and admonished 
ton pleads that anabaptists and others by the church at Salem." To avoid 
were not compelled against conscience; more trouble, she went amongst the 
nor were they punished for conscience Dutch ; but was excommunicated. In 
sake ; but for sinning against conscience. 1651, the Rev. J. Clarke and Mr. 0. 
Tenent Washed, pp. 165,189; Backus, Holmes, of Rhode Island, for visiting 
i. 98. a sick baptist brother in Massachusetts, 

3 See pp. 186, 331; Bloody Tenent were arrested, fined, imprisoned, and 
more Bloody, p. 122. By the law of whipped. At an earlier period, they 
September 6, 1638, the time was ex- had been compelled to leave Plymouth 
tended to six months. Backus, i. 45, for their opinions. Mr. Cotton ap- 
98 ; Bancroft, i. 349. proved of this. Backus, i. 146, 207, 

4 " The Lady Moody, a wise and 225. 

amiable religious woman, being taken 5 Williams sLettertoEndicot. Bloody 

with the error of denying baptism to Tenent more Bloody, p. 305. See p. 
nfants, was dealt withal by many of 245. 


origin of the patent ; the magistrate, whose statement is 
adduced by Mr. Williams, places in the forefront that of the 
magistrate s power over conscience. As the matter stood, 
these two subjects were allied. To doubt the one was to 
doubt the other. But Mr. Williams was decided as to the 
iniquity of both. 

On the subject of the denial of the oath of fidelity, it is 
evident, from Mr. Cotton s statement, that the oath owed its 
origin to intolerance. Episcopacy should have no place 
under congregational rule, no more than independency could 
be suffered to exist under the domination of the English 
hierarchy. But Mr. Williams appears to have objected to 
the oath chiefly on other grounds : it was allowed by all 
parties that oath-taking was a religious act. If so, it was 
concluded by Mr. Williams, in entire consistency with his 
other views, that, 1, It ought not to be forced on any, so far 
as it was religious ; nor, 2, could an unregenerate man take 
part in what was thought to be an act of religious worship. 
Whether an oath be a religious act, we shall not discuss ; 
but on the admitted principles of the parties engaged in this 
strife, Mr. Williams s argument seems to us irrefragable. 

On the concurring causes referred to by Mr. Cotton, it 
w T ill be unnecessary to make extended comment. The first 
of these is treated of at length in the second piece of this 
volume. Mr. Cotton and Mr. Williams were representatives 
of the two great bodies of dissentients from the law- estab 
lished church of England. One party deemed it to be an 
anti-christian church, its rites to be avoided, its ministry 
forsaken, its communion abjured : these were the Separatists, 
or true Nonconformists, to whom Mr. Williams belonged. 6 
The other party, although declaiming against the supposed 
corruptions of the church, loved its stately service, its govern 
mental patronage, its common prayer, and its parishional 

8 " Whilst he lived at Salem, he nei- much as in hearing the word amongst 

ther admitted, nor permitted any church them." Cotton s Answer, p. 64. See 

members hut such as rejected all com- p. 397 of this volume, 
munion with the parish assemblies, so 

b 2 


assemblies : 7 these were the puritans who, in New England, 
became Independents, or Congregationalists 8 in Old Eng 
land, during the Commonwealth, chiefly Presbyterians, and 
some Independents : to these Mr. Cotton belonged. 

Mr. Williams thought it his duty to renounce all connec 
tion with the oppressor of the Lord s people, and also with 
those who still held communion with her. 9 Let us not deem 
him too rigid in these principles of separation. There can 
be no fellowship between Christ and Belial. And if, as was 
indeed the case, the Anglican church too largely exhibited 
those principles which were subversive of man s inalienable 
rights, exercised a tyrannous and intolerable sway over the 
bodies and consciences of the people, and drove from her fold, 
as outcasts, many of her best and holiest children, it is no 
wonder that they should in return regard her touch as pol 
luting, her ecclesiastical frame as the work of anti-christ. 
The Congregationalists introduced her spirit and practice 
into the legislation of the New World, and it behoved every 
lover of true liberty to stand aloof and separate from the 
evil. This did Mr. Williams. He was right in regarding 
the relation of the Congregational polity to the civil state in 
New England as implicitly a national church state, although 
that relation was denied to be explicitly national by Mr. 
Cotton and his brethren. "I affirm," said Williams, "that 
that church estate, that religion and worship which is com 
manded, or permitted to be but one in a country, nation, or 
province, that church is not in the nature of the particular 
churches of Christ, but in the nature of a national or state 
church." 1 

It is, however, to this controversy that we are indebted 

7 "The substance of the true estate tempting to draw away the Salem church 
of churches abideth in their congrega- from holding communion with all the 
tional assemblies." Cotton s Answer, churches of the Bay, because we tol- 
p. 109. Cotton refers here to the par- era ted our members to hear the word 
ish congregations. in the parishes of England." Tenent 

8 See pp. 243, 244, 392. Mather s Washed, p. 166. 

Magnalia, i. 21. i g ee p> 2 46. Bloody Tenent more 

" Cotton charges Williams with at- Bloody, p. 230. 


for the second of the pieces reprinted in this volume. While 
wandering among the uncivilized tribes of Indians, Mr. 
Cotton s letter came into Mr. Williams s hands. 2 It seems 
to have been a part of a somewhat extended correspondence 
between them, and to have originated in Mr. Cotton s two 
fold desire to correct the aberrations, as he deemed them, of 
his old friend, and to shield himself from the charge of being 
not only an accessory, but to some degree the instigator of 
the sentence of banishment decreed against him. His de 
fence of himself is unworthy of his candour, and betrays, by 
its subtle distinctions and passionate language, by his cruel 
insinuations and ready seizure of the most trifling inaccura 
cies, a mind ill at ease and painfully conscious that he had 
dealt both unjustly and unkindly with his former companion 
in tribulation. By some means, but without his knowledge, 
Mr. Cotton s letter got into print, to him most "unwelcome;" 
and while in England, in 1644, Mr. "Williams printed his 
reply. It will be seen that Mr. Williams has given the 
whole of it : and with scrupulous fidelity, adding thereto his 
remarks and reasonings. Mr. Cotton, however, did not 
hesitate to aver the righteousness of the persecution and 
banishment which Williams endured. 3 

In the Colonial Eecords, the date of Mr. Williams s sen 
tence is November 3, (1635). He immediately withdrew 
from all church communion with the authors of his suffer 
ings. A few attached friends assembled around him, and 
preparations were made for departure. 4 It would seem that 
he had, for some time, contemplated the formation of a 
settlement where liberty, both civil and religious, should be 
enjoyed. This reached the ears of his adversaries. His 

2 It must have reached Williams after justice of the sentence when it was 

his settlement at Providence. Cotton, passed." 

in 1647, says he wrote it about "half a * Cotton says, " Some of his friends 

score years ago," which would give the went to the place appointed by himself 

date of 1637. beforehand, to make provision of hous- 

3 See p. 377. Cotton s Answer, p. ing and other necessaries against his 
8, 9, 13, 3639. " I did never intend coming." Answer p. 8. This, how- 
to say that T did not consent to the ever, is very doubtful. 


Lord s day addresses were attractive to many, and withdrew 
them from the congregations of the dominant sect. Pro 
voked at " the increase of concourse of people to him on the 
Lord s days in private," and fearing the farther extension of 
principles so subversive of their state-church proceedings, 
they resolved on Mr. Williams s immediate deportation. Two 
or three months had to elapse, of the additional time granted 
for his departure, before their sentence could take effect. 
Delay was dangerous : therefore the Court met at Boston 
on the llth of January, 1636, and resolved that he should 
immediately be shipped for England, in a vessel then riding 
at anchor in the bay. A warrant was despatched summoning 
him to Boston. He returned answer that his life was in 
hazard ; and came not. A pinnace was sent to fetch him ; 
" but when they came at his house, they found he had been 
gone three days before ; but whither they could not learn." 5 

His wife and two children, the youngest less than three 
months old, w^ere left behind. By a mortgage on his pro 
perty at Salem he had raised money to supply his wants. 
He then plunged into the untrodden wilds; being "denied 
the common air to breathe in, and a civil cohabitation upon 
the same common earth; yea, and also without mercy and 
human compassion, exposed to winter miseries in a howling 
wilderness." 6 

After fourteen weeks exposure to frost and snow, "not 
knowing what bread or bed did mean," he arrived at See- 
konk, 7 on the east bank of Pawtucket river. Here he began 
to build and plant. In the following expressive lines he seems 
to refer to the kind support afforded him by the Indians : 

" God s providence is rich to his, 

Let none distrustful be; 
In wilderness, in great distress, 
These ravens have fed me." 8 

5 See p. 388. Knowles, p. 73. Back- sickness upon him." Answer, p. 57. 
us, i. 70. Governor Winthrop had pri- This he might not choose to see. 
vately advised him to leave the colony. * See p. 370. Knowles, p. 395. 

The friendship of this eminent man 7 Now called Rehoboth. 

was of frequent service to our exile. 8 Quoted from his " Key," &c., by 

Cotton declares that the officer who Knowles. 10], 
served the warrant saw " no sign of 


Their hospitality he requited throughout his long life by 
acts of benevolence, and by unceasing efforts to benefit and 
befriend them. He taught them Christianity ; and was the 
first of the American pilgrims to convey to these savage 
tribes the message of salvation. 

Before his crops were ripe for harvest, he received intima 
tion from the governor of Plymouth, that he had " fallen into 
the edge of their bounds," and as they were loath to offend 
the people of the Bay, he was requested to remove beyond 
their jurisdiction. With five companions he embarked in his 
canoe, descending the river, till arriving at a little cove on 
the opposite side, they were hailed by the Indians with the 
cry of " What cheer ? " 9 Cheered with this friendly salutation 
they went ashore. Again embarking, and descending the 
stream, they reached a spot at the mouth of the Mohassuck 
river, where they landed, near to a spring remaining to this 
day as an emblem of those vital blessings which flow to 
society from true liberty. That spot is " holy ground," where 
sprung up the first civil polity in the world permitting freedom 
to the human soul in things of God. There Roger Williams 
founded the town of Providence. It was, and has ever been, 
the "refuge of distressed consciences." Persecution has 
never sullied its annals. Freedom to worship God was the 
desire of its founder for himself and for all, and he nobly 
endured till it was accomplished. 

It has been generally held that the fourteen weeks above 
referred to were spent by Mr. Williams in traversing the 
wilderness, and in penetrating the vast forests which 
separated Salem from Seekonk by land. Some doubts have 
of late, however, been thrown upon this view. 

It can scarcely be supposed that so long a time could have 
been occupied in the land journey from Salem to Seekonk. 
The distance is about fifty miles. Even if we allow a con 
siderable addition to this, occasioned by the detour rendered 
necessary to avoid the settlements on the Bay, the time con- 

9 The land at this spot still bears the designation of " What Cheer." 


sumed cannot be accounted for. He himself has given us no 
details of this eventful journey. Only passing references to 
it occur in his various works. Yet these are of such a kind 
as to render it more probable that his journey was made by 
sea, coasting from place to place, holding intercourse with the 
native tribes, whose language he had previously acquired. 1 
His route by sea would be not less than 200 miles, to 
accomplish which by his own unaided arm, together with the 
interviews he undoubtedly held with the aborigines, and the 
time necessarily allotted for repose, or spent in waiting for 
favourable weather, might well fill the fourteen weeks he 
tells us his journey lasted. His language supports this view, 
"Mr. Winthrop, he says, privately wrote me to steer my 
course to the Narraganset Bay. I took his prudent motion, 
and waiving all other thoughts and emotions 1 steered my 
course from Salem, though in winter snow, into these parts." 
Again, "It pleased the Most High to direct my steps into 
this lay ;" which words would seem only applicable to a 
voyage by water. "I was sorely tossed for one fourteen 
weeks." This language is evidently such as would be most 
natural in referring to a passage by sea. 2 But there is one 
paragraph in the present volume which would seem to decide 
the question. It is found at page 386. "Had his soul 
[Cotton s] been in my soul s case, exposed to the miseries, 
poverties, necessities, wants, debts, hardships of sea and land, 
in a banished condition, he would, I presume, reach forth a 
more merciful cordial to the afflicted." Here distinct reference 
is made to the sea as the scene of some of those hardships he 
endured. It is moreover known that travelling at that time 
was chiefly by water, that Williams was a skilful boatman, 
and that he possessed a boat of his own soon after his settle 
ment at Providence. In the view of these particulars, we 
are constrained to the conclusion that Mr. Williams journeyed 

1 The vivid and dramatic poem of wilderness, and amid its savage in- 

Judge Durfee, entitled What Cheer ? " habitants. 

is founded on the supposed events 2 Letter to Major Mason. Knowles 

of his journey through this howling p. 394, Benedict, p. 449. 


by sea, often landing to seek for food, and to hold intercourse 
with the natives as to his final settlement. 3 

On reaching Providence, the first object of Mr. Williams 
would be to obtain possession of some land. This he acquired 
from the Narragansett Indians, the owners of the soil sur 
rounding the bay into which he had steered his course. By 
a deed dated the 24th March, 1638, certain lands and meadows 
were made over to him by the Indian chiefs which he had 
purchased of them two years before, that is, at the time 
of his settlement amongst them. He shortly after reconveyed 
these lands to his companions. In a deed dated 1661, he 
says, " I desired it might be for a shelter for persons distressed 
for conscience. I then considering the condition of divers of 
my distressed countrymen, I communicated my said purchase 
unto my loving friends [whom he names], who then desired to 
take shelter here with me." 4 This worthy conception of his 
noble mind was realized, and he lived to see a settled com 
munity formed wherein liberty of conscience was a primary 
and fundamental law. Thirty-five years afterward he could 
say, " Here, all over this colony, a great number of weak 
and distressed souls, scattered, are flying hither from Old and 
New England, the Most High and Only Wise hath, in his 
infinite wisdom, provided this country and this corner as a 
shelter for the poor and persecuted, according to their several 
persuasions. 5 

The year 1638 witnessed the settlement of Rhode Island, 
from which the state subsequently took its name, by some 
other parties, driven from Massachusetts by the persecution 
of the ruling clerical power. So great was the hatred or the 
envy felt towards the new colony, that Massachusetts framed 
a law prohibiting the inhabitants of Providence from coming 
within its bounds. 6 This \vas a cruel law, for thus trading 

3 This view has been ably advocated 4 Knowles, p. 103, 112. Backus, i. 

by General Fessenden, from whose 90, 94. 

manuscript some of the above par- 5 Letter to Mason. Knowles, p. 398. 

ticulars are taken by Benedict, in the 6 Backus, i. 95, 115. Knowles, p. 

new edition of his Hist, of the Bap- 148. 
tists, p. 449. 


was hindered with the English vessels frequenting Boston, 
from whence came the chief supplies of foreign goods. So 
great was the scarcity of paper from this cause among the 
Rhode Islanders, that " the first of their writings that are to 
be found, appear on small scraps of paper, wrote as thick, 
and crowded as close as possible." " God knows," says Wil 
liams, " that many thousand pounds cannot repay the very 
temporary losses I have sustained," by being debarred from 
Boston. 7 

In March 1639, Mr. Williams became a baptist, together 
with several more of his companions in exile. As none in 
the colony had been baptized, a Mr. Holliman was selected 
to baptize Mr. Williams, who then baptized Mr. Holliman 
and ten others. Thus was founded the first baptist church 
in America. 8 On the 1st of the following July, Mr. Wil 
liams and his wife, with eight others, were excommunicated 
by the church at Salem, then under the pastoral care of the 
celebrated Hugh Peters. Thus was destroyed the last link 
which bound these exiles to the congregational churches of 
New England, where infant baptism and persecution abode, 
as in other churches, in sisterly embrace together. 9 

Mr. Williams appears to have remained pastor of the 
newly formed church but a few months. For, while retain 
ing all his original sentiments upon the doctrines of God s 
word, and the ordinances of the church, he conceived a true 
ministry must derive its authority from direct apostolic 
succession or endowment : that, therefore, without such a 
commission he had no authority to assume the office of pastor, 
or be a teacher in the house of God, or proclaim to the 
impenitent the saving mercies of redemption. It is, however, 
by no means clear that he regarded the latter as wrong, for 
we find him in after days desiring to print several discourses 
which he had delivered amongst the Indians. 1 He seems 
rather to have conceived that the church of Christ had so 

7 Knowles, p. 149, 395. B Backus, i. 107. Knowles, p. 176. 

8 Knowles, p. 165. Benedict, p. 441 . Hanbury,iii. 571. 

Backus, i. 105. * Backus,!. 107, 108. Knowles, p. 170. 


fallen into apostacy, as to have lost both its right form and 
the due administration of the ordinances, which could only be 
restored by some new apostolic,, or specially commissioned 
messenger from above. Various passages in the present 
volume will be met with which favour this view: 2 the fol 
lowing is from his " Hireling Ministry :" " In the poor small 
span of my life, I desired to have been a diligent and constant 
observer, and have been myself many ways engaged, in city, 
in country, in court, in schools, in universities, in churches* 
in Old and New England, and yet cannot, in the holy pre 
sence of God, bring in the result of a satisfying discovery, 
that either the begetting ministry of the apostles or messen 
gers to the nations, or the feeding and nourishing ministry of 
pastors and teachers, according to the first institution of the 
Lord Jesus, are yet restored and extant." 3 From this 
passage it would seem that his objections were rather owing 
to the imperfection of the church in its revived condition, 
than to the want of a right succession in the ministry. 
These imperfections could be removed by a new apostolic 
ministry alone. He therefore was opposed to " the office of 
any ministry, but such as the Lord Jesus appointeth." Per 
haps in the following assertion of Mr. Cotton we have the 
true expression of Mr. Williams s views. He conceived 
" that the apostacy of anti-christ hath so far corrupted all, 
that there can be no recovery out of that apostacy till Christ 
shall send forth new apostles to plant churches anew." 4 

The constantly increasing number of settlers in the new 
colony rendered a form of civil government necessary. A 
model was drawn up, of which the essential principles were 
democratic. The power was invested in the freemen, orderly 
assembled, or a major part of them. None were to be ac- 

2 As p. 40. Cotton says, he fell Cotton s Answer, p. 2. The insinuation 

"from all ordinances of Christ dig- in this passage is both unjust and untrue, 

pensed in any church way, till God * Pp. 4, 379. Knowles, p. 172. 

shall stir up himself, or some new Callender s Historical Discourse, by 

apostles, to recover and restore all or- Dr. R. Elton, p. 101. 

dinances, and churches of Christ out of * Cotton s Answer, p. 9. 
the ruins of anti-christian apostacy." 


counted delinquents for doctrine, "provided it be not directly 
repugnant to the government or laws established." And a 
few months later this was further confirmed by a special act, 
" that that law concerning liberty of conscience in point of 
doctrine, be perpetuated." Thus liberty of conscience was 
the basis of the legislation of the colony of Rhode Island, 
and its annals have remained to this day unsullied by the 
blot of persecution. 5 But many were the examples of an 
opposite course occurring in the neighbouring colony of 
Boston. Not satisfied with having driven Williams and 
many more from their borders by their oppressive measures 
against conscience, the General Court laid claim to juris 
diction over the young and rapidly increasing settlements of 
the sons of liberty. This, concurring with other causes, led 
the inhabitants of Rhode Island and Providence to request 
Mr. "Williams to take passage to England; and there, if pos 
sible, obtain a charter defining their rights, and giving them 
independent authority, freed from the intrusive interference 
of the Massachusetts Bay. 

In the month of June 1643, Mr. Williams set sail from 
New York for England, for he was not permitted to enter 
the territories of Massachusetts, and to ship from the more 
convenient port of Boston, although his services in allaying 
Indian ferocity, and preventing by his influence the attacks 
of the native tribes upon their settlements, were of the 
highest value and of the most important kind. 6 

At the time of his arrival in England, the country was 
involved in the horrors of civil war. By an ordinance dated 
Nov. 3, 1643, the affairs of the colonies were intrusted to a 
board of commissioners, of which Lord Warwick was the 
head. Aided by the influence of his friend, Sir Henry 

5 Knowles, p. 181. Callencler, p. his franchise for refusing to his wife 

159. Backus, i. 112. Bancroft,!. 380. liberty of conscience, in not permitting 

The attachment of the Rhode Islanders her to go to Mr. Williams s meeting as 

to this great principle receives a curious often as requisite. Backus, i. 95. 

illustration in the case of one Joshua 8 Backus, i. 147. 
Verin, who was deprived for a time of 


Vane, Mr. Williams quickly obtained the charter he sought, 
dated March 14, 1644, giving to the " Providence Plantations 
in the Narragansett Bay," full power to rule themselves, by 
any form of government they preferred. 7 

With this charter Mr. Williams, in the summer of the 
same year, returned to New England, and landed at Boston, 
Sept. 17th, emboldened to tread this forbidden ground by a 
commendatory letter to the Governor and Assistants of the 
Bay, from several noblemen and members of parliament. 
The first elections under this charter were held at Ports 
mouth in May 1641, when the General Assembly then 
constituted, proceeded to frame a code of laws, and to com 
mence the structure of their civil government. It was 
declared in the act then passed, " that the form of govern 
ment established in Providence Plantations is DEMOCRATI- 
CAL, that is to say, a government held by the free and 
voluntary consent of all, or the greater part of the free 
inhabitants." The conclusion of this Magna Charta of Rhode 
Island is in these memorable words : " These are the laws that 
concern all men, and these are the penalties for the trans 
gression thereof, which, by common consent, are ratified and 
established throughout the whole colony. And otherwise 
than thus, what is herein forbidden, all men may walk as 
their consciences persuade them, every one in the name of 


Mr. Roger Williams was chosen assistant, and in subsequent 
years governor. Thus under the auspices of this noble- 
minded man was sown the germ of modern democratic insti 
tutions, combining therewith the yet more precious seed of 
religious liberty. 

We here trace no further the history of Roger Williams in 
relation to the state of which he was the honoured founder. 
To the period at which we have arrived, their story is indis- 

7 Backus, i. 148. Knowles, p. 198. 

8 Elton, in notes to Callender, p. 230. Knowles, p, 208. 


solubly allied together. Others, imbued with his principles, 
henceforth took part in working out the great and then 
unsolved problem how liberty, civil and religious, could 
exist in harmony with dutiful obedience to rightful laws. 
Posterity is witness to the result. The great communities 
of the Old World are daily approximating to that example, 
and recognizing the truth and power of those principles 
which throw around the name of ROGER WILLIAMS a halo 
of imperishable glory and renown. 

The work of this eminent man, reprinted in the following 
pages, owes its origin to the events we have detailed, and to 
some other very interesting circumstances. In the first 
volume of the publications of the Hanserd Knollys Society, 
will be found a piece, entitled " An Humble Supplication 
to the King s Majesty, as it was presented, 1620." This 
was a baptist production. It is a well arranged, clear, and 
concise argument against persecution, and for liberty of 
conscience. Mr. Williams informs us that this treatise was 
written by a prisoner in Newgate for conscience sake. So 
rigid was his confinement that paper, pens, and ink were 
denied him. He had recourse to sheets of paper sent, by a 
friend in London, as stoppers to the bottle containing his 
daily allowance of milk. He wrote his thoughts in milk on 
the paper thus provided, and returned them to his friend in 
the same way. " In such paper, written with milk, nothing 
will appear ; but the way of reading it by fire being known 
to this friend who received the papers, he transcribed and 
kept together the papers, although the author himself could 
not correct, nor view what himself had written." 9 

From this treatise was taken those arguments against 
persecution, 1 which being replied to by Mr. Cotton, gave 
rise to the work of Mr. Williams, and which he has so 
significantly called " The Bloudy Tenent of Persecution 
Discussed." Mr. Cotton tells us that this excerpt was 
sent to him about the year 1635, by Mr. Williams, and that 
Mr. Williams, against the "royal law of the love of the 

9 See p. 36. l See Tracts on Liberty of Conscience, pp. 214225. 


gospel, and without his knowledge, published it, with his 
reply, adding thereto a refutation." 2 A contradictory and 
more particular account is, however, given of the affair by 
Mr. Williams. No such letter or intercourse, he tells us, 
passed between him and Mr. Cotton on this subject. The 
prisoner s arguments against persecution were presented to 
Mr. Cotton by Mr. Hall, a congregational minister at Rox- 
bury, to whom also Mr. Cotton s answer was addressed. 
Mr. Hall not being satisfied, sent the papers to Mr. Williams 
already printed, who, therefore, conceiving that being printed 
they were no longer private papers, felt at liberty to publish 
his discussion of Mr. Cotton s principles. 3 At the time when 
Mr. Cotton wrote the letter to Mr. Hall, he tells us that 
Mr. Williams "did keep communion with all his brethren, 
and held loving acquaintance with myself." It must there 
fore have been written some time before the banishment of 
Mr. Williams, and soon after the arrival of Mr. Cotton in 
New England. 

At the close of Mr. Cotton s letter is found a reference to 
" a treatise sent to some of the brethren late of Salem, who 
doubted as you do." This treatise is the " Model of Church 
and Civil Power," the examination of which forms the second 
part of the " Bloudy Tenent." 4 The authorship of it is 
attributed to Mr. Cotton by Mr. Williams. This Mr. Cot 
ton denies. He charges Mr. Williams with a " double false 
hood:" First, in saying that he wrote it; second, that the 
ministers who did write it sent it to Salem. 5 This " bluster- 

2 Bloudy Teuent Washed, p. 1. cavils of turbulent spirits, clearly mani- 

3 Bloody Tenent yet more Bloody, fested wherein liberty of conscience in 
pp. 4, 290. The only edition known matters of religion ought to be per- 
to us of the prisoner s arguments with mitted, and in what cases it ought not, 
Mr. Cotton s reply, is of the date 1646, by the said Mr. Cotton. London, 
with the following title: " The Contro- Printed for Thomas Banks. 1646." It 
versie concerning Liberty of Conscience is a quarto pamphlet of fourteen pages, 
in Matters of Religion, truly stated, and and signed John Cotton, and agrees 
distinctly and plainly handled by Mr. with Williams s copy of it in the "Bloudy 
John Cotton of Boston in New Eng- Tenent." 

land. By way of answer to some * See p. 189. 

arguments to the contrary sent unto 5 Bloody Tenent Washed, pp. 150, 

him, wherein you have, against all 192. 


ing charge " Mr. Williams repudiates. He refers to the 
closing paragraph of Cotton s own letter, and avers, " to my 
knowledge it was reported, according to this hint of Mr. 
Cotton s, that from the ministers of the churches such a 
model composed by them was sent to Salem." He then 
adds, that hearing of it he wrote to Sf his worthy friend Mr. 
Sharp, elder of the church at Salem, for the sight of it, who 
accordingly sent it to him." Moreover, Mr. Cotton approved 
of it, promoted it, and directed others to repair to it for 
satisfactory information: 6 it was therefore unworthy of him 
to pass so "deep censures for none or innocent mistakes." 
The real author of it was probably Mr. Richard Mather, of 
whom we are told that " when the platform of Church Disci 
pline was agreed in the year 1647, Mr. Mather s model was 
that out of which it was chiefly taken." 7 Or perhaps it may 
preferably be regarded as the result of an act passed by the 
General Court in the year 1634, wherein the elders of every 
church were entreated to " consult and advise of one uniform 
order of discipline in the churches . . . and to consider how 
far the magistrates are bound to interpose for the preserva 
tion of that uniformity and peace of the churches." 8 Certain 
it is, that the principles of this document pervade all the 
subsequent legislation of the colony, and many of its con 
clusions were embodied in the ecclesiastical and civil laws. 
Mr. Williams did well in selecting these two pieces for 
discussion. They broadly state those views which are an 
tagonist to intellectual and religious freedom. Other treatises 
were published to defend New England practices against the 
observations of friends in Old England, which are occasion 
ally referred to by Mr. Williams ; but in none of them were 
developed to the same extent, that persecuting spirit and 
theocratic legislation which Mr. Williams so ably, so patiently, 
and so thoroughly confronts and confutes in the following 

The " Bloudy Tenent " was published in England in the 
year 1644, and without the name either of the author or 

6 Bloody Tenent more Bloody, pp. 7 Mather s Magnalia, iii. 128, v. 22. 

222, 291. 8 Backus, i. 66. 


publisher. It was written while he was occupied in obtain 
ing the charter for Rhode Island. In many parts it bears 
evident tokens of haste, and occasional obscurities show that 
he had found no time to amend his work. Indeed he tells 
us, " that when these discussions were prepared for public in 
London, his time was eaten up in attendance upon the 
service of the parliament and city, for the supply of the poor 
of the city with wood, during the stop of coal from New 
castle, and the mutinies of the poor for firing." 9 Neverthe 
less, his style is generally animated, the discussion acutely 
managed, and frequent images of great beauty adorn his page. 

Although not the first in England among the baptist 
advocates for the great principle of liberty of conscience, 
Roger Williams holds a preeminent place. Previous to the 
Bloudy Tenent, several pieces had been published, of great 
interest and value. Some of these have been reprinted; 1 
and we have already seen how one of them gave rise to the 
present work of Williams. In 1642 we find a baptist asserting 
as one of the results of infant baptism, that "hence also 
collaterally have been brought the power of the civil magis 
trate into the church . . . being willingly ignorant that the 
state and church of the Jews is to be considered in a twofold 
respect, one as it was a civil state and commonwealth and 
kingdom, in respect whereof it was common to other civil 
states and kingdoms in the world ; the other as it was the 
church of God, and in relation thereto had worship, com 
mandments, a kingly office, and government, which no other 
state and kingdom had or ought to have : for herein it was 
altogether typical. This state (the church) being spiritual 
admits of none but Him, their spiritual Head, Lawgiver, 
James iv. 12." 2 

In 1643 another most able piece appeared, entitled, 
" Liberty of Conscience ; or the sole means to obtain peace 
and truth." The author expresses his opinion that the dis- 

9 Bloody Tenent more Bloody, p. 38. 2 The Second Part of the Vanity 

1 Tracts on Liberty of Conscience and Childishness of Infants Baptism. 

and Persecution, 1614 1661. Hanserd By A. R. p. 27. London, 1642. 

Knollys Society, 1 845. 



tractions and troubles of the nation were owing in great 
measure to the general obstinacy and averseness of most men 
of all ranks and qualities to tolerate and bear with tender 
consciences, and different opinions of their brethren." 

The same year in which the "Bloudy Tenent" was pub 
lished, there issued from the press " The Compassionate 
Samaritan, Unbinding the Conscience, and pouring oil into 
the wounds which have been made upon the separation." 
This piece likewise asserts the rights of conscience with great 
clearness and power. 

Until now the baptists stood alone in this conflict, they 
were the only known advocates for perfect liberty ; but in 
this year Mr. John Goodwin also came forth to aid them, 3 
and by his powerful writings did much to disseminate right 
views on this great subject. 

The activity of Mr. Williams, and his deep interest in 
whatever concerned the well-being of his fellow countrymen, 
are still more illustrated by the publications which he put 
forth while in England. For he not only published his " Key 
into the Language of America," composed while on his 
voyage to this country, and the two treatises reprinted in 
this volume ; but also an anonymous piece, entitled " Queries 
of Highest Consideration proposed to Mr. Thomas Goodwin 
presented to the High Court of Parliament," 4 containing 
clear and accurate observations on the respective provinces 
of civil and ecclesiastical authority. 

The publication of the "Bloudy Tenent" was most 
offensive to the various parties into which the ruling powers 
of the State were divided. The presbyterians exclaimed 
against it as full of heresy and blasphemy. If we may believe 
Mr. Richardson, they even proceeded so far as to burn it. 5 To 
this we are inclined to attach some confidence, as thereby we 
may account for the extreme rarity of the book, and for what 

3 In " M. S. to A. S. with a Plea for &c., 4to. 1644. 

Liberty of Conscience in a Church * London. 4to. 1644, p. 13. Cotton s 

Way, &c." London, 1644. 4to. pp. Answer, p. 2. Orme s Life of Owen, 

110. Also in "Geojwax/a; or, the grand p. 100. 

imprudence of fighting against God," 3 Tracts on Lib. of Conscience, p. 270. 


is in fact a second edition, published in the same year. The 
existing copies of the work do not quite agree. While they 
are page for page and line for line the same, they differ in 
the fact of a table of errata being found in some, which 
errata are corrected in others. There is also a slight difference 
in the type and orthography of the title page. 6 

Baillie informs us that Williams s work did not meet with 
the approbation of the English Independents. Its toleration 
was too unlimited for their taste. They were willing to 
grant liberty only to those sound in fundamentals the 
identical views of their brother Congregationalists of 
America. 7 Yet we are informed in a subsequent work by 
Mr. Williams, that it operated most beneficially on the public 
mind. " These images and clouts it hath pleased God to make 
use of to stop no small leaks of persecution, that lately began 
to flow in upon dissenting consciences, and to Master Cotton s 
own, and to the peace and quietness of the Independents, 
which they have so long and so wonderfully enjoyed." 8 

In the year 1647, Mr. Cotton attempted a reply to Mr. 
Williams. He entitled his work, "The Bloudy Tenent 
washed, and made white in the bloud of the Lambe : being 
discussed and discharged of blood-guiltinesse by just Defence, 
&c. Whereunto is added a Reply to Mr. Williams s Answer 
to Mr. Cotton s Letter. By John Cotton, Batchelor in 
Divinity, and Teacher of the Church of Christ at Boston in 
New England. London. 1647." 4to. pp. 195 and 144. In 
the notes of the present volume, 9 various examples are given 
of the character of this reply, and of the tortuous con 
structions adopted to escape the home thrusts of Mr. 
Williams. As compared with Williams s work it displays 

6 These differences are stated by Mr. 7 Baillie s Dissuasive. Epist. Introd. 

Gammell in his Life of Williams, p. ed. 1645. Hanbury s Memorials, ii. 

215, to exist in the two copies he has 403; iii. 110, 127. 

seen in America. The only copies we 8 Bloody Tenent more Bloody, p. 38. 

have seen in this country, are those in 9 The two parts of this work are 

the Bodleian Library, and the British quoted in the notes to this volume, as 

Museum ; both of which have the table " Cotton s Reply," and " Cotton s 

of errata. Answer." 

c 2 


great unfairness, and a most lamentable want of Christian 
temper and spirit it is " wormwood and gall," to use Mr. 
Williams s own words. 

A rejoinder appeared in the year 1652. It is entitled (< The 
Bloody Tenent yet more Bloody by Mr. Cotton s endevour 
to wash it white in the blood of the Lambe, &c. By R. 
Williams, of Providence in New-England. London, 1652. * 
4to. pp. 373. It is characterized by the kindest tone, the 
most affectionate spirit, and a considerate treatment of Mr. 
Cotton s perversions, errors, and mistakes, which he did not 
deserve. It is proposed to reprint this volume as necessary 
to the completeness of the present. 

The work it is now the editor s great pleasure and satis 
faction to place in the hands of the subscribers is of great 
rarity. But six copies are at present known to exist of the 
original editions. Three of these are in America ; two in 
the Library of Brown University, Rhode Island, and one in 
the library of Harvard College. Three are in this country ; 
one in the library of the present American Consul, Colonel 
Aspinall ; one in the British Museum ; and one in the 
Bodleian Library. From the latter the present reprint is 
made by the kind permission of the Librarian. It is a volume 
of two hundred and forty-seven pages, in small quarto. 
The original table of Contents is given with the pagination 
only altered. Mr. Williams s Reply to Mr. Cotton s Letter, 
is of still greater rarity. Two copies are in America ; one 
in Yale College which is much mutilated, and one in the 
possession of the family of the late Moses Brown, Esq., of 
Providence. Two are in this country ; one in the British 
Museum, and one in the Bodleian Library, which is also 
somewhat mutilated. This reprint is from the latter. The 
proof sheets have been compared with the very fine copy in 
the British Museum, by my kind friend George Oifor, Esq. 

E. B. U. 

Newmarket House. 

August 9th, 1848. 











Truth and Peace, their rare and seldom meeting . . . . .31 

Two great complaints of Peace 33 

Persecutors seldom plead Christ but Moses for their author . . 34 

Strife, Christian and unchristian 34 

A threefold doleful cry 35 

The wonderful providence of God in the writing of the arguments 

against persecution 36 

A definition of persecution discussed 37 

Conscience will not be restrained from its own worship, nor constrained 

to another * 38 

A chaste soul in God s worship compared to a chaste wife * . 38 

God s people have erred from the very fundamentals of visible worship 39 

Four sorts of spiritual foundations in the New Testament . . 39 

The six fundamentals of the Christian religion 40 

The coming out of Babel not local, but mystical .... 40 
The great ignorance of God s people concerning the nature of a true 

church 41 

Common prayer written against by the New English ministers * 43 
God s people have worshipped God with false worships . . .43 
God is pleased sometimes to convey good unto his people beyond a 

promise 44 



A notable speech of King James to a great nonconformist turned perse 
cutor 45 

Civil peace discussed 45 

V iThe difference between spiritual and civil state 46 

Six cases wherein God s people have been usually accounted arrogant, 

and peace breakers, but most unjustly 48 

*-> The true causes of breach and disturbance of civil peace ... 52 

A preposterous way of suppressing errors 53 

Persecutors must needs oppress both erroneous and true consciences . 53 

All persecutors of Christ profess not to persecute him ... 55 

What is meant by the heretic, Tit. iii. 58 

The word heretic generally mistaken 59 

Corporal killing in the law, typing out spiritual killing in the gospel . 62 
The carriage of a soul sensible of mercy, towards others in their blind 
ness, &c 64 

The difference between the church and the world, wherein it is, in all 

places ........... 65 

J The church and civil state confusedly made all one .... 66 

The most peaceable accused for peace breaking . . . . 67 

A large examination of what is meant by the tares, and letting of them 

alone ............ 68 

Satan s subtlety about the opening of scripture .... 69 

Two sorts of hypocrites 74 

The Lord Jesus the great teacher by parables, and the only expounder 

of them 75 

Preaching for conversion is properly out of the church . . .76 

The tares proved properly to signify anti-christians .... 77 

God s kingdom on earth the visible church 78 

The difference between the wheat and the tares, as also between these 

tares and all others 78 

^ A civil magistracy from the beginning of the world . . . .79 

The tares are to be tolerated the longest of all sinners . . . 81 

The danger of infection by permitting of the tares, assoiled . . 82 

The civil magistrate not so particularly spoken to in the New Testament 

as fathers, masters, &c., and why ? 85 

A twofold state of Christianity : persecuted under the Roman emperors, 

and apostated under the Roman popes 85 

Three particulars contained in that prohibition of Christ Jesus concern 
ing the tares, Let them alone. Matt, xiii 86 

Accompanying with idolaters, 1 Cor. v. discussed . . . .88 

/-- Civil magistrates never invested by Christ Jesus with the power and title 

of defenders of the faith 92 

God s people [Israel] ever earnest with God for an arm of flesh . . 93 

The dreadful punishment of the blind Pharisees in four respects . 94 

The point of seducing, infecting, or soul-killing, examined ... 96 

Strange confusions in punishments 100 



The blood of souls, Acts xx., lies upon such as profess the ministry : the 

blood of bodies only upon the state 100 

Usurpers and true heirs of Christ Jesus 101 

The civil magistrate bound to preserve the bodies of their subjects, and 

not to destroy them for conscience sake 103 

The fire from heaven, Rev. xiii. 13, 2 Tim. ii. 25, 26, examined . 104 
The original of the Christian name, Acts xi. .... 105 

A civil sword in religion makes a nation of hypocrites, Isa. x. . . 107 
A difference of the true and false Christ and Christians . . .109 

The nature of the worship of unbelieving and natural persons . 109- 

Antoninus Pius s famous act concerning religion . . . . .110 
Isa. ii. 4, Mic. iv. 3, concerning Christ s visible kingdom, discussed . 110 
b> Acts xx. 29, the suppressing of spiritual wolves, discussed . . .112 
It is in vain to decline the name of the head of the church, and yet to 

practise the headship 114 

Titus i. 9, 10, discussed 115 

Unmerciful and bloody doctrine . . . . . . . 116 

. The spiritual weapons, 2 Cor. x. 4, discussed . . . .117 

Civil weapons most improper in spiritual causes . . . . 118 

The spiritual artillery, Eph. vi., applied . . . . .119 
Rom. xiii., concerning civil rulers power in spiritual causes, largely ex 
amined . . . . . . . . . . . 121 

:. Paul s appeal to Caesar, examined .128 

And cleared by five arguments 128 

Four sorts of swords . . . . . . . . .131 

What is to be understood by evil, Rom. xiii. 4 . . . . 133 

Though evil be always evil, yet the permission of it may sometimes be 

good 136 

Two sorts of commands, both from Moses and Christ . . . 138 
The permission of divor in Israel, Matt. xix. 17, 18. . . .138 

Usury in the civil state lawfully permitted 1 39 

J~- Seducing teachers, either pagans, Jewish, Turkish, or anti-christian, may 

yet be obedient subjects to the civil laws . . . . .141 

/ Scandalous livers against the civil state . . . . . . 142 

Toleration of Jezebel and Balaam, Rev. ii. 14, 20, examined . . 143 
if The Christian world hath swallowed up Christianity . . . 145 

^- Christ Jesus the deepest politician that ever was, yet commands he a 

toleration of anti- Christians 149 

The princes of the world seldom take part with Christ Jesus . . 150 

Buchanan s item to King James 151 

King James s sayings against persecution ... . . . 151 

King Stephen s, of Poland, sayings against persecution . . .152 

Forcing of conscience a soul-rape 152 

,^> Persecution for conscience hath been the lancet which hath let blood the 

nations. All spiritual whores are bloody 152 

Polygamy, or the many wives of the fathers 153 



David advancing of God s worship against order . . . .153 

Constantino and the good emperors, confessed to have done more hurt to 

the name and crown of Christ, than the bloody Neros did . 154 

The language of persecutors 156 

Christ s lilies may flourish in the church, notwithstanding the weeds in 

the world permitted 156 

Queen Elizabeth and King James, their persecuting for cause of religion 

examined 157 

Queen Elizabeth confessed by Mr. Cotton to have almost fired the world 

in civil combustions . . . . . . . . 158 

The wars between the papists and the protestants . . . .159 

The wars and success of the Waldensians against three popes . . 159 
God s people victorious overcomers, and with what weapons . . 160 

The Christian church doth not persecute, but is persecuted . . 160 

The nature of excommunication 161 

The opinion of ancient writers examined concerning the doctrine of per 
secution 163 

Constraint upon conscience in Old and New England . . . .164 
The Indians of New England permitted in their worshipping of devils . 165 

In two cases a false religion will not hurt 167 

The absolute sufficiency of the sword of the Spirit . . . .168 
A national church not instituted by Christ . . . . . 169 
Man hath no power to make laws to bind conscience . . . .169 
Hearing of the word in a church estate a part of God s worship . 173 

Papists plea for toleration of conscience .173 

Protestant partiality in the cause of persecution . . . . 174 
Pills to purge out the bitter humour of persecution . . . .175 
Superstition and persecution have had many votes and suffrages from 

God s own people 1 76 

Soul-killing discussed 176 

Phineas s act discussed 179 

Elijah s slaughters examined 180 

\^~ Dangerous consequences flowing from the civil magistrate s power in 

spiritual cases 183 

The world turned upside down 184 

The wonderful answer of the ministers of New England to the ministers 

of Old 184 

Lamentable differences even amongst them that fear God . . .185 
The doctrine of persecution ever drives the most godly out of the 

world 186 


Cotton and the ministers of New England, and sent to Salem, (as a 

further confirmation of the bloody doctrine of persecution for cause 

of conscience) examined and answered 189 

Christ s power in the church confest to be above all magistrates in 

spiritual things 190 



Isa. xlix. 23, lamentably wrested . . ... 190 

The civil commonweal, and the spiritual commonweal, the church, not 

inconsistent, though independent the one on the other . . 192-- 

Christ s ordinances put upon a whole city or nation may civilize them, and 

moralize, but not christianize, before repentance first wrought . 193 

Mr. Cotton and the New English minister s confession, that the magistrate 

hath neither civil nor spiritual power in soul matters . . . 194 

The magistrates and the church, (by Mr. Cotton s grounds) in one and 
the same cause, made the judges on the bench, and delinquents at 
the bar 196 

A demonstrative illustration, that the magistrate cannot have power over 

the church in spiritual or church causes 197 

The true way of the God of peace, in differences between the church 

and the magistrate 198 

The terms godliness and honesty explained, 1 Tim. ii. 1, and honesty 
proved not to signify in that place the righteousness of the second 
table 201" 

The forcing of men to God s worship, the greatest breach of civil peace. 203 

The Roman Caesars of Christ s time described 204 

. It pleased not the Lord Jesus, in the institution of the Christian church, 
to appoint and raise up any civil government to take care of his 
worship 205 

The true custodes utriusque tabulcs, and keepers of the ordinances and 

worship of Jesus Christ 206 

The kings of Egypt, Moab, Philistia, Assyria, Nineveh, were not charged 

with the worship of God, as the kings of Judah were . . . 207 

Masters of families not charged under the gospel to force all the con 
sciences of their families to worship 207 

God s people have then shined brightest in godliness, when they have 

enjoyed least quietness 210 

Few magistrates, few men, spiritually good ; yet divers sorts of com 
mendable goodness beside spiritual 211 

Civil power originally and fundamentally in the people. Mr. Cotton and 
the New English give the power of Christ into the hands of the 
commonweal 214 

Laws concerning religion, of two sorts . . . . . . 217 

The very Indians abhor to disturb any conscience at worship . . .217 

Canons and constitutions pretended civil, but indeed ecclesiastical . 217 

A threefold guilt lying upon civil powers, commanding the subject s soul 

in worship 222 

Persons may with less sin be forced to marry whom they cannot love, 

than to worship where they cannot believe 223 

As the cause, so the weapons of the beast and the lamb are infinitely 

different 226 

Artaxerxes his decree examined 227 

The sum of the examples of the gentile king s decrees concerning God s 

worship in scripture 230 



The doctrine of putting to death blasphemers of Christ, cuts off the 

hopes of the Jews partaking in his blood 232 

The direful effects of fighting for conscience 233 

Error is confident as well as truth 234 

Spiritual prisons 236 

Some consciences not so easily healed and cured as men imagine . 237 
Persecutors dispute with heretics, as a tyrannical cat with the poor mouse : 
and with a true witness, as a roaring lion with an innocent lamb in 

his paw 239 

Persecutors endure not the name of persecutors . . . . 239 
Psalm ci., concerning cutting off the wicked, examined . . .241 

No difference of lands and countries, since Christ Jesus his coming . 242 

The New English separate in America, but not in Europe . . . 244 
Christ Jesus forbidding his followers to permit leaven in the church, doth 

not forbid to permit leaven in the world 246 

The wall (Cant. viii. 9.) discussed 246 

Every religion commands its professors to hear only its own priests or 

ministers 248 

Jonah his preaching to the Ninevites discussed 248 

Hearing of the word discussed 248 

Eglon his rising up to Ehud s message, discussed 248 

A twofold ministry of Christ: first, apostolical, properly converting. 

Secondly, feeding or pastoral 249 

The New English forcing people to church, and yet not to religion (as 

they say), forcing them to be of no religion all their days . . 249 
The civil state can no more lawfully compel the consciences of men to 

church to hear the word, than to receive the sacraments . . 250 
No precedent in the word, of any people converting and baptizing them- 

selves 253 

v ~- *True conversion to visible Christianity is not only from sins against the 

second table, but from false worships also 254 

The commission, Matt, xxviii., discussed 254 

The civil magistrate not betrusted with that commission . . . 255 
Jehoshaphat, 2 Chron. xviL, a figure of Christ Jesus in his church, not of 

the civil magistrate in the state 256 

The maintenance of the ministry, Gal. vi. 6, examined . . . 257 
Christ Jesus never appointed a maintenance of the ministry from im 
penitent and unbelieving ....... 257 

_They that compel men to hear, compel them also to pay for their hear 
ing and conversion 258 

Luke xiv., Compel them to come in, examined 258 

Natural men can neither truly worship, nor maintain it ... 259 
The national church of the Jews might well be forced to a settled main 
tenance: but not so the Christian church 261 

The maintenance which Christ hath appointed his ministry in the church 262 
The universities of Europe causes of universal sins and plagues: yet 

schools are honourable for tongues and arts 263 



The true church is Christ s school, and believers his scholars . . 264 

Mr. Ainsworth excellent in the tongues, yet no university man . . 265 

King Henry the Eighth set down in the pope s chair in England . 266 

Apocrypha, homilies, and common prayer, precious to our forefathers . 266 

Reformation proved fallible 267 

; The precedent of the kings of Israel and Judah largely examined . 271 
The Persian kings example make strongly against the doctrine of perse 
cution 272 

1. The difference of the land of Canaan from all lands and countries in 

seven [eight] particulars 273 

2. The difference of the people of Israel from all other peoples, in seven 

particulars 278 

Wonderful turnings of religion in England in twelve years revolution . 280 
The pope not unlike to recover his monarchy over Europe before his 

downfall 280 

Israel, God s only church, might well renew that national covenant and 

ceremonial worship, which other nations cannot do ... 283- 

The difference of the kings and governors of Israel from all kings and 

governors of the world, in four particulars 284 

Five demonstrative arguments proving the unsoundness of the maxim, 

viz., the church and commonweal are like Hippocrates twins . 286 

A sacrilegious prostitution of the name Christian 290 

David immediately inspired by God in his ordering of church affairs . 291 

Solomon s deposing Abiathar, 1 Kings ii. 26, 27, discussed . . . 292 

The liberties of Christ s churches in the choice of her officers . . 293 
A civil influence dangerous to the saints liberties . . . .293 

Jehoshaphat s fast examined 294 

God will not wrong Caesar, and Caesar should not wrong God . . 294 

.^ The famous acts of Josiah examined 295 

Magistracy in general from God, the particular forms from the people . 295 
Israel confirmed in a national covenant by revelations, signs, and 

miracles; but not so any other land . . . . . 295 

Kings and nations often plant and often pluck up religions . . . 296 

A national church ever subject to turn and return . . . . 297 

A woman, Papissa, or head of the church 297 

The papists nearer to the truth, concerning the governor of the church, 

than most protestants 297 

The kingly power of the Lord Jesus troubles all the kings and rulers of 

the world 298 

A twofold exaltation of Christ 298 

A monarchical and ministerial power of Christ ..... 300 

Three great competitors for the ministerial power of Christ . . 300 
The pope pretendeth to the ministerial power of Christ, yet upon the 

point challengeth the monarchical also 300 

Three great factions in England, striving for the arm of flesh . . 300 
The churches of the separation ought in humanity and subjects liberty 

not to be oppressed, but at least permitted 302 



Seven reasons proving that the kings of Israel and Judah can have no 

other but a spiritual antitype 303 

Christianity adds not to the nature of a civil commonweal; nor doth want 

of Christianity diminish it 304 

-^__Most strange, yet most true consequences from the civil magistrates being 

the antitype of the kings of Israel and Judah .... 305 
If no religion but what the commonweal approve, then no Christ, no 

God, but at the pleasure of the world 305 

The true antitype of the kings of Israel and Judah .... 306 

4. The difference of Israel s statutes and laws from all others in three 

particulars ........... 306 

5. The difference of Israel s punishments and rewards from all others 308 
Temporal prosperity most proper to the national state of the Jew . 308 

The excommunication in Israel 308 

The corporal stoning in the law, typed out spiritual stoning in the gospel 308 
The wars of Israel typical and unparalleled, but by the spiritual wars of 

spiritual Israel 309 

The famous typical captivity of the Jews 311 

Their wonderful victories 311 

The mystical army of white troopers . . . . . .312 

Whether the civil state of Israel was precedential . . . . 313 
Great unfaithfulness in magistrates [ministers] to cast the burden of 

judging and establishing Christianity upon the commonweal . .314 

Thousands of lawful civil magistrates, who never hear of Jesus Christ . 315 
Nero and the persecuting emperors not so injurious to Christianity as 

Constantine and others, who assumed a power in spiritual things . 316 
They who force the conscience of others, cry out of persecution when 

their own are forced 316 

Constantine and others wanted not so much affection, as information of 

judgment .317 

Civil authority giving and lending their horns to bishops, dangerous to 

Christ s truth 317 

The spiritual power of Christ Jesus compared in scripture to the incom 
parable horn of the rhinoceros 318 

The nursing fathers and mothers, Isa. xlix. . . . . . 319 

The civil magistrate owes three things to the true church of Christ . 319 

The civil magistrate owes two things to false worshippers . . . 320 

The rise of high commissions 321 

Pious magistrates and ministers consciences are persuaded for that, 

which other as pious magistrates and ministers consciences condemn 321 

An apt similitude discussed concerning the civil magistrate . . 322 

A grievous charge against the Christian church and the king of it . . 330 

A strange law in New England formerly against excommunicate persons 331 

A dangerous doctrine against all civil magistrates . . . . 331 

Original sin charged to hurt the civil state 331 

They who give the magistrate more than his due, are apt to disrobe him 

of what is his . . . 332 



A strange double picture 336 

The great privileges of the true church of Christ .... 336 
Two similitudes illustrating the true power of the magistrate . . .337 
A marvellous challenge of more power under the Christian, than under 

the heathen magistrate 339 

Civil magistrates, derivatives from the fountains or bodies of people . 341 

A believing magistrate no more a magistrate than an unbelieving . 341 

The excellency of Christianity in all callings 341 

The magistrate like a pilot in the ship of the commonweal . . 342 

The terms heathen and Christian magistrates 343 

The unjust and partial liberty to some consciences, and bondage unto all 

others 344 

The commission, Matt, xxviii. 1 9, 20, not proper to pastors and teachers, 

least of all to the civil magistrate ....... 345 

Unto whom now belongs the care of all the churches, &c. . . 345 

Acts xv. commonly misapplied 346 

The promise of Christ s presence, Matt, xviii., distinct from that Matt. 

xxviii 347 

Church administrations firstly charged upon the ministers thereof . . 349 
Queen Elizabeth s bishops truer to their principles than many of a better 

spirit and profession ........ 350 

Mr. Barrowe s profession concerning Queen Elizabeth .... 350 

The inventions of men swerving from the true essentials of civil and 

spiritual commonweals 353 

A great question, viz., whether only church members, that is, godly 

persons, in a particular church estate, be only eligible into the 

magistracy 353 

The world being divided in thirty parts, twenty-five never heard of 

Christ 354 

Lawful civil states where churches of Christ are not .... 355 

Few Christians wise and noble, and qualified for affairs of state . . 355 

The Ninevites fast examined 357 

Luke xxii. 36 discussed 359 

Rev. xvii. 16 discussed . . . . . . . . .361 

Conclusion 363 


To the Impartial Reader 367 

If Jesus Christ bring more light he must be persecuted . . . 371 

Public sins, the cause of public calamities, must be discovered . . 372 

Grounds of Mr. Williams s banishment 375 

Persecutors do no good to men s souls ....... 377 

Mr. Cotton s proof from Prov. xi. 26 discussed 379 

Spiritual offences only liable to spiritual censure 382 

Mr. Cotton ignorant of the cause of Williams s sufferings . . . 383 



Civil peace and magistracy blessed ordinances of God .... 384 

The mercies of a civil state distinct from those of a spiritual state . 385 

Affliction for Christ sweet 390 

The state of godly persons in gross sins 393 

God s mystical Israel must come forth of Babel before they build the 

temple 395 

New England refuses church fellowship with godly ministers of Old 

England 396 

Christ considered personally and in his people 398 

Mr. Cotton confessing the true and false constitution of the church . 401 
Difference between God s institutions to the Jews and anti-christian 

institutions 403 

Coming forth of Babel not local 406 

The polygamy of the fathers 410 

Every true church separate from idols 411 

The substance of true repentance in all God s children . . . .412 

The first Christians the best pattern for Christians now . . . 413 

Mr. Cotton against a national church, and yet holds fellowship with it . 415 

The Jewish national church not to be separated from . . . 417 

Mr. Cotton extenuates national chvirches 420 

Mr. Cotton guilty of cruelty in persecuting, yet cries out against due 

severity in the church ...*.... 423 

God s controversy for persecution ....... 424 

The puritans and separatists compared 424 

Mr. Ainsworth s poverty 426 

Four sorts of backsliders from separation 428 

Mr. Canne s Answer to Mr. Robinson s Liberty of Hearing . . . 429 

Preachers and pastors far different 430 

The fellowship of the word taught in a church estate .... 432 

False callings or commissions for the ministry 433 

The Nonconformists grounds enforce separation ..... 436 

Mr. Cotton s practice of separation in New England .... 436 

Persecution is unjust oppression wheresoever 438] 



of PERSECUTION, for caufe of 
CONSCIENCE, difcuffed, in 

A Conference betweene 



In all tender Affection, present to the High 
Court of Parliament, (as the result of 
their Discourse) these, (amongst other 
Passages) of highest consideration. 


Printed in the Year 1644, 

First. That the blood of so many hundred thousand 
souls of protestants and papists, spilt in the wars of 
present and former ages, for their respective consciences, 
is not required nor accepted by Jesus Christ the Prince 
of Peace. 

Secondly. Pregnant scriptures and arguments are 
throughout the work proposed against the doctrine of 
persecution for cause of conscience. 

Thirdly. Satisfactory answers are given to scriptures 
and objections produced by Mr. Calvin, Beza, Mr. Cotton, 
and the ministers of the New English churches, and others 
former and later, tending to prove the doctrine of persecu 
tion for cause of conscience. 

Fourthly. The doctrine of persecution for cause of 
conscience, is proved guilty of all the blood of the souls 
crying for vengeance under the altar. 

Fifthly. All civil states, with their officers of justice, 
in their respective constitutions and administrations, are 
proved essentially civil, and therefore not judges, govern 
ors, or defenders of the spiritual, or Christian, state and 

Sixthly. It is the will and command of God that, since 
the coming of his Son the Lord Jesus, a permission of the 
most Paganish, Jewish, Turkish, or anti-christian con 
sciences and worships be granted to all men in all nations 
and countries : and they are only to be fought against 
with that sword which is only, in soul matters, able to 
conquer: to wit, the sword of God s Spirit, the word of 

Seventhly. The state of the land of Israel, the kings 
and people thereof, in peace and war, is proved figurative 
and ceremonial, and no pattern nor precedent for any 
kingdom or civil state in the world to follow. 

Eighthly. God requireth not an uniformity of religion 
. to be enacted and enforced in any civil state ; which en 
forced uniformity, sooner or later, is the greatest occasion 
of civil war, ravishing of conscience, persecution of Christ 
Jesus in his servants, and of the hypocrisy and destruction 
of millions of souls. 

Ninthly. In holding an enforced uniformity of religion 
in a civil state, we must necessarily disclaim our desires 
and hopes of the Jews conversion to Christ. 

Tenthly. An enforced uniformity of religion throughout 
a nation or civil state, confounds the civil and religious, 
denies the principles of Christianity and civility, and that 
Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. 

Eleventhly. The permission of other consciences and 
worships than a state prpfesseth, only can, according to 
God, procure a firm and lasting peace ; good assurance 
being taken, according to the wisdom of the civil state, 
for uniformity of civil obedience from all sorts. 

Twelfthly. Lastly, true civility and Christianity may 
both flourish in a state or kingdom, notwithstanding the 
permission of divers and contrary consciences, either of 
Jew or Gentile. 




Next to the saving of your own souls in the lamentable 
shipwreck of mankind, your task as Christians is to save 
the souls, but as magistrates the bodies and goods, of 

Many excellent discourses have been presented to your 
fathers hands and yours, in former and present parlia 
ments. I shall be humbly bold to say, that, in what 
concerns your duties as magistrates towards others, a 
more necessary and seasonable debate was never yet 

Two things your honours here may please to view, in 
this controversy of persecution for cause of conscience, 
beyond what is extant. 

First. The whole body of this controversy formed and 
pitched in true battalia. 

Secondly. Although in respect of myself it be impar 
congressus, yet, in the power of that God who is Maximm 
in Minimis, your Honours shall see the controversy is 
discussed with men as able as most, eminent for ability 
and piety Mr. Cotton, and the New English ministers. 

When the prophets in scripture have given their coats 
of arms and escutcheons to great men, your Honours 
know the Babylonian monarch hath the lion, the Persian 

B 2 

the bear, the Grecian the leopard, the Roman a compound 
of the former three, most strange and dreadful, Dan. vii. 

Their oppressing, plundering, ravishing, murdering, not 
only the bodies, but the souls of men, are large explaining 
commentaries of such similitudes. 

Your Honours have been famous to the end of the world 
for your unparalleled wisdom, courage, justice, mercy, 
in the vindicating your civil laws, liberties, &c. Yet let 
it not be grievous to your Honours thoughts to ponder 
a little, why all the prayers, and tears, and fastings, in 
this nation, have not pierced the heavens, and quenched 
these flames ; which yet who knows how far they will 
spread, and when they will out ! 

Your Honours have broke the jaws of the oppressor, 
and taken the prey out of his teeth, Job xxix. 17. For 
which act, I believe, it hath pleased the Most High God 
to set a guard, not only of trained men, but of mighty 
angels, to secure your sitting, and the city. 

I fear we are not pardoned, though reprieved. Oh! 
that there may be a lengthening of London s tranquillity, 
of the parliament s safety, ~by [shewing] mercy to the poor ! 
Dan. iv. [27.] 

Right Honourable, soul yoke, soul oppressions, plun- 
derings, ravishings, &c., are of a crimson and deepest dye, 
and I believe the chief of England s sins unstopping the 
vials of England s present sorrows. 

This glass presents your Honours with arguments from 
religion, reason, experience : all proving that the greatest 
yokes yet lying upon English necks, the people s and 
your own, are of a spiritual and foul nature. 

All former parliaments have changed these yokes 
according to their consciences, popish or protestant. It 
is now your Honour s turn at helm, and as [is] your task 
so I hope [is] your resolution not to change : for that is 
but to turn the wheel, which another parliament, and the 

very next, may turn again ; but to ease the subjects and 
yourselves from a yoke (as was once spoke in a case not 
unlike, Acts xv. [10]) which neither you nor your fathers 
were ever able to bear. 

Most noble senators ; your fathers, whose seats you fill, 
are mouldered, and mouldering their brains, their tongi^es, 
j &c., to ashes in the pit of rottenness : they and you must 
shortly, together with two worlds of men, appear at the 
great bar. It shall then be no grief of heart that you 
have now attended to the cries of souls, thousands op 
pressed, millions ravished, by the acts and statutes con 
cerning souls not yet repealed of bodies impoverished, 
imprisoned, &c., for their souls belief: yea, slaughtered on 
heaps for religious controversies, in the wars of present 
and former ages. 

" Notwithstanding the success of later times, wherein The 

saying of a 

sundry opinions have been hatched about the subject of JJjJjjJ of 
religion, a man may clearly discern with his eye, and as it 
were touch with his finger, that according to the verity of 
holy scripture, &c., men s consciences ought in no sort to 
be violated, urged, or constrained. And whensoever men 
have attempted any thing by this violent course, whether 
openly or by secret means, the issue hath been pernicious, 
and the cause of great and wonderful innovations in the 
principallest and mightiest kingdoms and countries," &C. 1 

It cannot be denied to be a pious and prudential act for 
your Honours, according to your conscience, to call for 
the advice of faithful counsellors in the high debates con 
cerning your own, and the souls of others. 

Yet, let it not be imputed as a crime for any suppliant 
to the God of heaven for you, if, the humble sense of what 
their souls believe, they pour forth, amongst others, these 
three requests at the throne of grace : 

1 [See Tracts on Liberty of Conscience and Persecution, p. 217. Hanserd 
Knollys Society, 184G.] 

First. That neither your Honours,, nor those excellent 
and worthy persons whose advice you seek, limit the Holy 
One of Israel to their apprehensions, debates, conclusions, 
rejecting or neglecting the humble and faithful sugges 
tions of any, though as base as spittle and clay, with 
which sometimes Christ Jesus opens the eyes of them 
that are born blind. 

Secondly. That the present and future generations of 
the sons of men may never have cause to say that such a 
parliament, as England never enjoyed the like, should 
model the worship of the living, eternal, and invisible God, 
after the bias of any earthly interest, though of the 
highest concernment under the sun. And yet saith the 
learned Sir Francis Bacon 2 (however otherwise persuaded, 
yet thus he confesseth), " Such as hold pressure of con 
science, are guided therein by some private interests of 
their own." 

Thirdly. [That] whatever way of worshipping God 
your own consciences are persuaded to walk in, yet, from 
any bloody act of violence to the consciences of others, it 
may never be told at Rome nor Oxford, that the parlia 
ment of England hath committed a greater rape than if 
they had forced or ravished the bodies of all the women in 
the world. 

And that England s parliament, so famous throughout 
all Europe and the world, should at last turn papists, 
prelatists, Presbyterians, Independents, Socinians, Fami- 
lists, Antinomians, &c., by confirming all these sorts of 
consciences by civil force and violence to their consciences. 3 

2 Essay of Religion. [Eos qui 3 It is rarely seen that ever persons 

conseicntias premi, iisque vim inferri were persecuted for their conscience, 

suadent, sub illo dogmate, cupiditates but by such persecution they were 

suas subtexere, illamque rem gua in- confirmed and hardened in their con- 

teresse, putare. De Unitate Ecclesia?.] science. 


WHILE I plead the cause of truth and innocency 
against the bloody doctrine of persecution for cause of 
conscience, I judge it not unfit to give alarm to myself, 
and to [all] men, to prepare to be persecuted or hunted 
for cause of conscience. 

Whether thou standest charged with ten or but two 
talents, if thou huntest any for cause of conscience, how 
canst thou say thou followest the Lamb of God, who so 
abhorred that practice ? 

If Paul, if Jesus Christ, were present here at London, 
and the question were proposed, what religion would they 
approve of the papists, prelatists, Presbyterians, Inde 
pendents, &c., would each say, Of mine, Of mine ? 

But put the second question: if one of the several 
sorts should by major vote attain the sword of steel, what 
weapons doth Christ Jesus authorize them to fight with 
in his cause? Do not all men hate the persecutor, and 
every conscience, true or false, complain of cruelty, 
tyranny, &c.? 

Two mountains of crying guilt lie heavy upon the backs 
of all men that name the name of Christ, in the eyes of 
Jews, Turks, and Pagans. 

First. The blasphemies of their idolatrous inventions, 
superstitions, and most unchristian conversations. 

Secondly. The bloody, irreligious,, and inhuman oppres 
sions and destructions under the mask or veil of the name 
of Christ, &c. 

Oh ! how likely is the jealous Jehovah, the consuming 
fire, to end these present slaughters of the holy witnesses 
in a greater slaughter ! Rev. v. 

Six years preaching of so much truth of Christ as that 
time afforded in K. Edward s days, kindles the flames of 
Q. Mary s bloody persecutions. ,-/ 

Who can now but expect that after so many scores of 
years preaching and professing of more truth, and amongst 
so many great contentions amongst the very best of pro- 
testants, a fiery furnace should be heat, and who sees not 
now the fires kindling ? 

I confess I have little hopes, till those flames are over, 
that this discourse against the doctrine of persecution for 
cause of conscience should pass current, I say not amongst 
the wolves and lions, but even amongst the sheep of 
Christ themselves. Yet, liberavi animam meam, I have 
not hid within my breast my soul s belief. And, although 
sleeping on the bed either of the pleasures or profits of 
sin, thinkest thou thy conscience bound to smite at him 
that dares to waken thee ? Yet in the midst of all these 
civil and spiritual wars, I hope we shall agree in these 

First. However the proud (upon the advantage of a 
higher earth or ground) overlook the poor, and cry out 
schismatics, heretics, &c., shall blasphemers and seducers 
escape unpunished? Yet there is a sorer punishment in 
the gospel for despising of Christ than Moses, even when 
the despiser of Moses was put to death without mercy, 
Heb. x. 28, 29. He that believeth fshatt\not) be damned, 
Markxvi. 16. 

Secondly. Whatever worship, ministry, ministration, 


the best and purest, are practised without faith and true 
persuasion that they are the true institutions of God, 
they are sin, sinful worships, ministries, &c. And how 
ever in civil things we may be servants unto men, yet 
in divine and spiritual things the poorest peasant must 
disdain the service of the highest prince. Be ye not 
the servants of men., 1 Cor. vii. [23]. 

Thirdly. Without search and trial no man attains this 
faith and right persuasion. 1 Thes. v. [21], Try all things. 

In vain have English parliaments permitted English 
bibles in the poorest English houses, and the simplest 
man or woman to search the scriptures, if yet against 
their souls persuasion from the scripture, they should be 
forced, as if they lived in Spain or Rome itself without 
the sight of a bible, to believe as the church believes. 

Fourthly. Having tried, we must hold fast, 1 Thes. v. 
[21], upon the loss of a crown, Rev. iii. [11]; we must 
not let go for all the fleabitings of the present afflictions, 
c. Having bought truth dear, we must not sell it cheap, 
not the least grain of it for the whole world ; no, not for 
the saving of souls, though our own most precious ; least 
of all for the bitter sweetening of a little vanishing pleasure : 
For a little puff of credit and reputation from the 
changeable breath of uncertain sons of men: for the 
broken bags of riches on eagles wings : for a dream of 
these any or all of these, which on our death-bed vanish 
and leave tormenting stings behind them. Oh! how 
much better is it from the love of truth, from the love of 
the Father of lights from whence it comes, from the love 
of the Son of God, who is the way and the truth, to say 
as he, John xviii. 37 : For this end was I born, and for 
this end came I into the ivorld, that I might bear witness to 
the truth. 





" In the multitude of counsellours there is safety ;" it is 
therefore humbly desired to be instructed in this 
point, viz.: 

Whether persecution for cause of conscience be not against 
the doctrine of Jesus Christ, the King of kings. The 
scriptures and reasons are these.* 

1. BECAUSE Christ commandeth, that the tares and 
wheat, which some understand are those that walk in the 
truth, and those that walk in lies, should be let alone in 
the world, and not plucked up until the harvest, which is 
the end of the world. Matt. xiii. 30, 38, &c. 

2. The same commandeth, Matt. xv. 14, that they that 
are blind (as some interpret, led on in false religion, and 
are offended with him for teaching true religion) should 
be let alone, referring their punishment unto their falling 
into the ditch. 

3. Again, Luke ix. 54, 55, he reproved his disciples 

4 [See Tracts on Liberty of Conscience, pp. 214224.] 


who would have had fire come down from heaven and 
devour those Samaritans who would not receive Him, in 
these words : " Ye know not of what Spirit ye are ; the 
Son of man is not come to destroy metis lives, but to save 

4. Paul, the apostle of our Lord, teacheth, 2 Tim. ii. 
24, that the servant of the Lord must not strive, but must be 
gentle toward all men; suffering the evil men, instructing 
them with meekness that are contrary minded, proving if God 
at any time will give them repentance, that they may ac 
knowledge the truth, and come to amendment out of that snare 
of the devil, &c. 

5. According to these blessed commandments, the holy 
prophets foretold, that when the law of Moses concerning 
worship should cease, and Christ s kingdom be established, 
Isa. ii. 4 ; Mic. iv. 3, 4, They shall break their swords into 
mattocks, and their spears into scythes. And Isa. xi. 9, 
Then shall none hurt nor destroy in all the mountain of my 
holiness, &c. And when he came, the same he taught and 
practised, as before. So did his disciples after him, for 
the weapons of his warfare are net carnal (saith the apostle), 
2 Cor. x. 4. 

But he chargeth straitly, that his disciples should be so 
far from persecuting those that would not be of their 
religion, that when they were persecuted they should 
pray, Matt. v. 44 ; when they were cursed, they should 
bless, &c. 

And the reason seems to be, because they who now are 
tares, may hereafter become wheat; they who are now 
blind, may hereafter see; they that now resist him, 
may hereafter receive him; they that are now in the 
devil s snare, in adverseness to the truth, may hereafter 
come to repentance; they that are now blasphemers and 
persecutors, as Paul was, may in time become faithful as 


he; they that are now idolaters, as the Corinthians once 
were, l^Cor. vi. 9, may hereafter become true worshippers 
as they ; they that are now no people of God, nor under 
mercy, as the saints sometimes were, 1 Pet. ii. 10, may 
hereafter become the people of God, and obtain mercy, as 

Some come not till the eleventh hour, Matt. xx. 6 : if 
those that come not till the last hour should be destroyed, 
because they come not at the first, then should they never 
come, but be prevented. 

All which promises are in all humility referred to your 
godly wise consideration. 

II. Because this persecution for cause of conscience is 
against the profession and practice of famous princes. 

First, you may please to consider the speech of King 
James, in his majesty s speech in parliament, 1609. He 
saith, " It is a sure rule in divinity, that God never loves 
to plant his church by violence and bloodshed." 

And in his highness Apology, p. 4, speaking of such 
papists that took the oath, thus : 

" I gave good proof that I intended no persecution 
against them for conscience cause, but only desired to be 
secured for civil obedience, which for conscience cause 
they are bound to perform." 

And, p. 60, speaking of Blackwell, the archpriest, his 
majesty saith, " It was never my intention to lay any thing 
to the said archpriest s charge, as I have never done to 
any, for cause of conscience." 

And in his highness exposition on Rev. xx. printed 
1588, and after in 1603, his majesty writeth thus : 
" Sixthly, the compassing of the saints, and the besieging 
of the beloved city, declareth unto us a certain note of a 
false church to be persecution; for they come to seek 
the faithful, the faithful are them that are sought: 


the wicked are the besiegers, the faithful are the be 

Secondly, the saying of Stephen, king of Poland : " I 
am a king of men, not of consciences ; a commander of 
bodies, not of souls." 

Thirdly, the king of Bohemia hath thus written : 

" And, notwithstanding, the success of the later times, 
wherein sundry opinions have been hatched about the 
subject of religion, may make one clearly discern with 
his eye, and (as it were) to touch with his finger, that 
according to the verity of holy scriptures, and a maxim 
heretofore told and maintained by the ancient doctors of 
the church ; that men s consciences ought in no sort to be 
violated, urged, or constrained; and whensoever men 
have attempted any thing by this violent course, whether 
openly or by secret means, the issue hath been pernicious, 
and the cause of great and wonderful innovations in the 
principallest and mightiest kingdoms and countries of all 

And further, his majesty saith : ee So that once more we 
do profess, before God and the whole world, that from 
tin s time forward we are firmly resolved not to persecute, 
or molest, or suffer to be persecuted or molested, any 
person whosoever for matter of religion ; no, not they 
that profess themselves to be of the Romish church, 
neither to trouble or disturb them in the exercise of their 
religion, so they live conformable to the laws of the 
states," &c. 

And for the practice of this, where is persecution for 
cause of conscience, except in England and where popery 
reigns ? and there neither in all places, as appeareth by 
France, Poland, and other places. 

Nay, it is not practised amongst the heathen, that acknow 
ledge not the true God, as the Turk, Persian, and others. 


3. Reas. Thirdly, because persecution for cause of conscience is 

condemned by ancient and later writers ; yea, and the 
papists themselves. 

Hilary against Auxentius, saith thus : " The Christian 
church doth not persecute, but is persecuted. And la 
mentable it is to see the great folly of these times, and 
to sigh at the foolish opinion of this world, in that men 
think by human aid to help God, and with worldly pomp 
and power to undertake to defend the Christian church. 
I ask of you bishops, what help used the apostles in the 
publishing of the gospel ? With the aid of what power 
did they preach Christ, and converted the heathen from 
their idolatry to God? When they were in prisons, and 
lay in chains, did they praise and give thanks to God for 
any dignities, graces, and favours received from the court ? 
Or do you think that Paul went about with regal man 
dates, or kingly authority, to gather and establish the 
church of Christ? Sought he protection from Nero, 
Vespasian? The apostles wrought with their hands for 
their own maintenance, travelling by land and water, 
from town to city, to preach Christ; yea, the more they 
were forbidden, the more they taught and preached Christ. 
But now, alas ! human help must assist and protect the 
faith, and give the same countenance. To and by vain 
and worldly honours do men seek to defend the church of 
Christ, as if he by his power were unable to perform it." 

The same, against the Arians : 

" The church now, which formerly by enduring misery 
and imprisonment, was known to be a true church, doth 
now terrify others by imprisonment, banishment, and 
misery, and boasteth that she is highly esteemed of the 
world ; when as the true church cannot but be hated of 
the same." 

Tertull. ad Scapulam : " It agreeth both with human 


reason, and natural equity, that every man worship God 
uncompelled, and believe what he will ; for another man s 
religion and belief neither hurteth nor profiteth any one : 
neither beseemeth it any religion to compel another to be 
of their religion, which willingly and freely should be 
embraced, and not by constraint : forasmuch as the offer 
ings were required of those that freely and with good will 
offered, and not from the contrary." 

Jerome in Proem, lib, 4. in Jeremiam. " Heresy must 
be cut off with the sword of the Spirit; let us strike 
through with the arrows of the Spirit all sons and dis 
ciples of misled heretics, that is, with testimonies of holy 
scriptures. The slaughter of heretics is by the word of 

Brentius upon 1 Cor. iii. " No man hath power to make 
or give laws to Christians, whereby to bind their con 
sciences; for willingly, freely, and uncompelled, with a 
ready desire and cheerful mind, must those that come, 
run unto Christ." 

Luther, in his book of the civil magistrate, saith: "The 
laws of the civil magistrate s government extend no 
further than over the body or goods, and to that which is 
external : for over the soul God will not suffer any man 
to rule ; only he himself will rule there. Wherefore, 
whosoever doth undertake to give laws unto the souls 
and consciences of men, he usurpeth that government 
himself which appertaineth unto God," &c. 

Therefore, upon 1 Kings vi. <f In the building of the 
temple there was no sound of iron heard, to signify that 
Christ will have in his church a free and a willing people, 
not compelled and constrained by laws and statutes." 

Again, he saith upon Luke xxii. " It is not the true 
catholic church which is defended by the secular arm or 
human power, but the false and feigned church; which 


although it carries the name of a church, yet it denies the 
power thereof." 

And upon Psalm xvii. he saith : " For the true church 
of Christ knoweth not brachium seculare, which the bishops 
now-a-days chiefly use." 

Again, in Postil. Dom. 1. post. Epiphan, he saith : "Let 
not Christians be commanded, but exhorted ; for he that 
willingly will not do that whereunto he is friendly ex 
horted, he is no Christian : whereof they that do compel 
those that are not willing, show thereby that they are not 
Christian preachers, but worldly beadles." 

Again, upon 1 Pet. iii. he saith: "If the civil magis 
trate shall command me to believe thus and thus, I should 
answer him after this manner : Lord, or sir, look you to 
your civil or worldly government, your power extends not 
so far as to command any thing in God s kingdom ; there 
fore herein I may not hear you. For if you cannot bear 
it, that any should usurp authority where you have to 
command, how do you think that God should suffer you 
to thrust him from his seat, and to seat yourself therein ?" 

Lastly, the papists, the inventors of persecution, in a 
wicked book of theirs, set forth in King James s reign, 

" Moreover, the means which Almighty God appointed 
his officers to use in the conversion of kingdoms, and 
nations, and people, was humility, patience, charity: say 
ing, Behold, I send you as sheep in the midst of wolves, Matt. 
x. 16. He did not say, Behold, I send you as wolves 
among sheep, to kill, imprison, spoil, and devour those 
unto whom they were sent. " 

"Again, ver. 17, he saith: They to whom I send you, 
will deliver you up into councils, and in their synagogues tliey 
will scourge you ; and to presidents and to kings shall you be 
led for my sake. He doth not say, f You, whom I send, shall 


deliver the people, whom you ought to convert, unto 
councils, and put them in prisons, and lead them to Pre 
sidents, and tribunal seats, and make their religion felony 
and treason. 

" Again he saith, ver. 32 : When ye enter into an house, 
salute it, saying, Peace be unto this house. He doth not 
say, e You shall send pursuivants to ransack or spoil the 

"Again he saith, John x. The good pastor giveth his life, 
for his sheep; the thief comcth not but to steal, kill, and 
destroy. He doth not say, f The thief giveth his life for 
his sheep, and the good pastor cometh not but to steal, 
kill, and destroy. " 

So that we holding our peace, our adversaries them 
selves speak for us, or rather for the truth. 


And first, that it is no prejudice to the commonwealth 
if liberty of conscience were suffered to such as do fear 
God indeed, as is or will be manifest in such men s lives 
and conversations. 

Abraham abode among the Canaanites a long time, yet 
contrary to them in religion, Gen. xiii. 7, and xvi. 13. 
Again: he sojourned in Gerar, and king Abimelech gave 
him leave to abide in his land, Gen. xx. 21, 23, 24. 

Isaac also dwelt in the same land, yet contrary in reli 
gion, Gen. xxvi. 

Jacob lived twenty years in one house with his uncle 
Laban, yet differed in religion, Gen. xxxi. 

The people of Israel were about 430 years in that 
infamous land of Egypt, and afterwards seventy years in 
Babylon, all which time they differed in religion from those 
States, Exod. xii. and 2 Chron. xxxvi. 

Come to the time of Christ, where Israel was under the 



Komans, where lived divers sects of religions, as He- 
rodians, Scribes and Pharisees, Sadducees and Libertines, 
Theudasans and Samaritans, beside the common religion of 
the Jews, Christ, and his apostles. All which differed 
from the common religion of the state, which is like the 
worship of Diana, which almost the whole world then 
worshipped, Acts xix. 20. 

All these lived under the government of Caesar, being 
nothing hurtful unto the commonwealth, giving unto 
Caesar that which was his. And for their religion and 
consciences towards God he left them to themselves, as 
having no dominion over their souls and consciences. 
And when the enemies of the truth raised up any 
tumults, the wisdom of the magistrate most wisely ap 
peased them, Acts xviii. 14, and xix. 35. 






The question which you put is, whether persecution 
for cause of conscience be not against the doctrine of 
Jesus Christ, the King of kings? 

Now, by persecution for cause of conscience, I conceive 
you mean, either for professing some point of doctrine 
which you believe in conscience to be the truth, or for 
practising some work which in conscience you believe to 
be a religious duty. 

Now in points of doctrine some are fundamental, with 
out right belief whereof a man cannot be saved ; others are 
circumstantial, or less principal, wherein men may differ 
in judgment without prejudice of salvation on either part. 

In like sort, in points of practice, some concern the 
weightier duties of the law, as, what God we worship, 
and with what kind of worship ; whether such as, if it be 
right, fellowship with God is held; if corrupt, fellowship 
with him is lost. 

Again, in points of doctrine and worship less principal, 
either they are held forth in a meek and peaceable way, 

c 2 


though the things be erroneous or unlawful : or they are 
held forth with such arrogance and impetuousness, as 
tendeth and reacheth (even of itself) to the disturbance 
of civil peace. 

Finally,, let me add this one distinction more : when we 
are persecuted for conscience sake, it is either for conscience 
rightly informed, or for erroneous and blind conscience. 

These things premised, I would lay down mine answer 
to the question in certain conclusions. 

1. First, it is not lawful to persecute any for conscience 
sake rightly informed; for in persecuting such, Christ 
himself is persecuted in them, Acts ix. 4. 

2. Secondly, for an erroneous and blind conscience, (even 
in fundamental and weighty points) it is not lawful to 
persecute any, till after admonition once or twice ; and so 
the apostle directeth, Tit. iii. 10, and giveth the reason, 
that in fundamental and principal points of doctrine or 
worship, the word of God in such things is so clear, that 
he cannot but be convinced in conscience of the dangerous 
error of his way after once or twice admonition, wisely 
and faithfully dispensed. And then, if any one persist, it 
is not out of conscience, but against his conscience, as the 
apostle saith, ver. 11, He is subverted, and sinneth, being 
condemned of himself; that is, of his own conscience. So 
that if such a man, after such admonition, shall still persist 
in the error of his way, and be therefore punished, he is 
not persecuted for cause of conscience, but for sinning 
against his own conscience. 

3. Thirdly. In things of lesser moment, whether points of 
doctrine or worship, if a man hold them forth in a spirit of 
Christian meekness and love, though with zeal and con 
stancy, he is not to be persecuted, but tolerated, till God 
may be pleased to manifest his truth to him, Phil. iii. 1 7 ; 
Rom. xiv. 1 4. 


But if a man hold forth, or profess, any error or false 4. 
way, with a boisterous and arrogant spirit, to the disturb 
ance of civil peace, he may justly be punished according 
to the quality and measure of the disturbance caused by 

Now let us consider of your reasons or objections to 
the contrary. 

Your first head of objections is taken from the scrip 

Object, 1. Because Christ cominandeth to let alone the 
tares and wheat to grow together unto the harvest, Matt, 
xiii. 30, 38. 

Answ. Tares are not briars and thorns, but partly 
hypocrites, like unto the godly, but indeed carnal, as the 
tares are like to wheat, but are not wheat ; or partly such 
corrupt doctrines or practices as are indeed unsound, but 
yet such as come very near the truth (as tares do to the 
wheat), and so near, that good men may be taken with 
them ; and so the persons in whom they grow cannot be 
rooted out but good will be rooted up with them. And 
in such a case Christ calleth for toleration, not for penal 
prosecution, according to the third conclusion. 

Object. 2. In Matt. xv. 14, Christ commandeth his dis 
ciples to let the blind alone till they fall into the ditch ; 
therefore he would have their punishment deferred till 
their final destruction. 

Answ. He there speaketh not to public officers, whether 
in church or common- weal, but to his private disciples, 
concerning the Pharisees, over whom they had no power. 
And the command he giveth to let them alone, is spoken 
in regard of troubling themselves, or regarding the offence 
which they took at the wholesome doctrine of the gospel. 
As who should say, Though they be offended at this 
saying of mine, yet do not you fear their fear, nor be 


troubled at their offence, which they take at my doctrine, 
not out of sound judgment, but out of their blindness. 
But this maketh nothing to the cause in hand. 

Object. 3. In Luke ix. 54, 55, Christ reproveth his dis 
ciples, who would have had fire come down from heaven 
to consume the Samaritans, who refused to receive Him. 

Object. 4. And Paul teacheth Timothy, not to strive, but 
to be gentle towards all men, suffering evil patiently. 

Answ. Both these are directions to ministers of the 
gospel, how to deal, not with obstinate offenders in the 
church that sin against conscience, but either with men 
without, as the Samaritans were, and many unconverted 
Christians in Crete, whom Titus, as an evangelist, was to 
seek to convert : or at best with some Jews or Gentiles in 
the church, who, though carnal, yet were not convinced of 
the error of their way. And it is true, it became not the 
spirit of the gospel to convert aliens to the faith of Christ, 
such as the Samaritans were, by fire and brimstone ; nor 
to deal harshly in public ministry, or private conference, 
with all such contrary-minded men, as either had not yet 
entered into church-fellowship, or if they had, yet did 
hitherto sin of ignorance, not against conscience. 

But neither of both these texts do hinder the ministers 
of the gospel to proceed in a church-way against church- 
members, when they become scandalous offenders either in 
life or doctrine; much less do they speak at all to civil 


Object. 5. From the prediction of the prophets, who 
foretold that carnal weapons should cease in the days of 
the gospel, Isa. ii. 4, and xi. 9 ; Mic. iv. 3, 4. And the 
apostle professeth, The weapons of our warfare are not 
carnal, 2 Cor. x. 4. And Christ is so far from per 
secuting those that would not be of his religion, that he 
chargeth them, when they are persecuted themselves they 


should pray, and when they are cursed they should bless. 
The reason whereof seemeth to be, that they who are now 
persecutors and wicked persons, may become true dis 
ciples and converts. 

Answ. Those predictions in the prophets do only show, L 
first, with what kind of weapons he will subdue the nations 
to the obedience of the faith of the gospel, not by fire and 
sword, and weapons of war, but by the power of his word 
and Spirit, which no man doubteth of. 

Secondly. Those predictions of the prophets show what 2. 
the meek and peaceable temper will be of all the true 
converts to Christianity, not lions or leopards, &c., not 
cruel oppressors, nor malignant opposers, nor biters of one 
another. But [they] do not forbid them to drive ravenous 
wolves from the sheepfold, and to restrain them from 
devouring the sheep of Christ. 

And when Paul saith, The weapons of our warfare are 
not carnal but spiritual, he denieth not civil weapons of 
justice to the civil magistrate, Rom. xiii., but only to 
church officers. And yet the weapons of such officers he 
acknowledged to be such, as though they be spiritual, 
yet are ready to take vengeance of all disobedience, 2 Cor. 
x. 6 ; which hath reference, amongst other ordinances, to 
the censure of the church against scandalous offenders. 

When Christ commandeth his disciples to bless them 3 - 
that curse them and persecute them, he giveth not therein a 
rule to public officers, whether in church or common 
weal, to suffer notorious sinners, either in life or doctrine, 
to pass away with a blessing ; but to private Christians to 
suffer persecution patiently, yea, and to pray for their 

Again, it is true Christ would have his disciples to be 
far from persecuting, for that is a sinful oppression of 
men, for righteousness sake ; but that hindereth not but 


that he would have them execute upon all disobedience 
the judgment and vengeance required in the word, 2 Cor. 
x. 6 ; Rom. xiii. 4. 

4 . Though it be true that wicked persons now may by the 
grace of God become true disciples and converts, yet Ave 
may not do evil that good may come thereof. And evil it 
would be to tolerate notorious evil doers, whether seducing 
teachers, or scandalous livers. Christ had something 
against the angel of the church of Pergamos for tolerating 
them that held the doctrine of Balaam, and against the 
church of Thyatira for tolerating Jezebel to teach and 
seduce, Kev. ii. 14, 20. 

Your second head of reasons is taken from the pro 
fession and practice of famous princes, king James, Ste 
phen of Poland, king of Bohemia. 

Whereunto a treble answer may briefly be returned. 

First, we willingly acknowledge that none is to be 
persecuted at all, no more than they may be oppressed 
for righteousness sake. 

Again, we acknowledge that none is to be punished for 
his conscience, though misinformed, as hath been said, 
unless his error be fundamental, or seditiously and turbu- 
lently promoted, and that after due conviction of his con 
science, that it may appear he is not punished for his 
conscience, but for sinning against his conscience. 

Furthermore, we acknowledge, none is to be con 
strained to believe or profess the true religion till he be 
convinced in judgment of the truth of it; but yet re 
strained he may [be] from blaspheming the truth, and 
from seducing any unto pernicious errors. 

2 We answer, what princes profess or practise, is not 
a rule of conscience. They many times tolerate that in 
point of state policy, which cannot justly be tolerated in 
point of true Christianit v, 


Again, princes many times tolerate offenders out of 
very necessity, when the offenders are either too many, 
or too mighty for them to punish ; in which respect David 
tolerated Joab and his murders : but against his will. 

3. We answer further, that for those three princes 
named by you, who tolerated religion, we can name you 
more and greater who have not tolerated heretics and 
schismatics, notwithstanding their pretence of conscience, 
and arrogating the crown of martyrdom to their sufferings. 

Constantine the Great, at the request of the General 
Council of Mce, banished Arius, with some of his fellows. 5 
The same Constantine made a severe, law against the 
Donatists. And the like proceedings against them were 
used by Valentinian, Gratian, and Theodosius, as Augus 
tine reporteth. 6 Only Julian the Apostate granted liberty 
to heretics as well as to pagans, that he might, by tolera 
ting all weeds to grow, choke the vitals of Christianity ; 
which was also the practice and sin of Valens the Arian. 

Queen Elizabeth, as famous for her government as any 
of the former, it is Avell known what laws she made and 
executed against papists. Yea, and king James, one of 
your own witnesses, though he was slow in proceeding 
against papists, as you say, for conscience sake, yet you 

5 Sozom. lib. 1. Eccles. Hist. chap, severissimam legem. Hunc imitati 

19,20. [Fleury, Eccles. Hist. Liv. xi. filii ejus talia prseceperunt. Quibus 

e. 23. " The impious Arius was ba- succedens Julianus deserto Christi et 

mshed into one of the remote provinces inimicus, supplicantibus vestris Roga- 

of Illyricum.... The emperor had now tiano et Pontio libertatem perditioni 

imbibed the spirit of controversy, and partis Donati permisit Huic succes- 

the angry, sarcastic style of his edicts sit Jovianus Deinde Valentinianus, 

was designed to inspire his subjects legite quam contra vos jusserit. Inde 

with the hatred Avhich he had con- Gratianus et Theodosius Veri Chris- 

ceived against the enemies of Christ." tiani non pro heretico errore pcenas 

Gibbon, Decline and Fall, p. 317. 8vo. justissimas sicut vos, sed pro catholica 

edit.] veritate passiones gloriosissimas per- 

f< In Epist. 16G. [Tune Con&tan- tulerunt. S. Aug. Opera, Tom. ii. fol. 

prior contra partem Donati 15G. Ed. Vcnetiis, 1552. J 


are not ignorant how sharply and severely he punished 
those whom the malignant world calleth Puritans, men of 
more conscience and better faith than he tolerated. 

I come now to your third and last argument, taken 
from the judgment of ancient and later writers, yea, even 
of papists themselves, who have condemned persecution 
for conscience sake. 

You begin with Hilary, whose testimony we might 
admit without any prejudice to the truth; for it is true, 
the Christian church doth not persecute, but is persecuted. 
But to excommunicate an heretic, is not to persecute; 
that is, it is not to punish an innocent, but a culpable and 
damnable person, and that not for conscience, but for per 
sisting in error against light of conscience, whereof it hath 
been convinced. 

It is true also what he saith, that neither the apostles 
did, nor may we, propagate [the] Christian religion by 
the sword; but if pagans cannot be won by the word, 
they are not to be compelled by the sword. Nevertheless, 
this hindereth not but if they or any others should 
blaspheme the true God, and his true religion, they 
ought to be severely punished; and no less do they de 
serve, if they seduce from the truth to damnable heresy or 

Your next writer, which is Tertullian, speaketh to the 
same purpose in the place alleged by you. His intent is 
only to restrain Scapula, the Roman governor of Africa, 
from the persecution of Christians, for not offering sacrifice 
to their gods : and for that end fetcheth an argument from 
the law of natural equity, not to compel any to any 
religion, but to permit them either to believe willingly, 
or not to believe at all. Which we acknowledge, and 
accordingly permit the Indians to continue in their un 
belief. Nevertheless, it will not therefore be lawful 


openly to tolerate the worship of devils, or idols, or the 
seduction of any from the truth. 

When Tertullian saith, "Another man s religion neither 
hurteth nor profiteth any," it must be understood of pri 
vate worship, and religion professed in private : otherwise 
a false religion professed by the members of a church, or 
by such as have given their names to Christ, will be the 
ruin and desolation of the church, as appeareth by the 
threats of Christ to the churches of Asia, Rev. ii. 

Your next author, Hierom, crosseth not the truth, nor 
advantageth your cause ; for we grant what he saith,, that 
heresy must be cut off with the sword of the Spirit. But 
this hindereth not, but that being so cut down, if the 
heretic still persist in his heresy to the seduction of 
others, he may be cut off by the civil sword to prevent 
the perdition of others. And that to be Hierom s mean 
ing, appeareth by his note upon that of the apostle, A 
little leaven leaveneth the whole lump ; is therefore," saith he, 
" a spark, as soon as it appeareth, is to be extinguished, 
and the leaven to be removed from the rest of the dough, 
rotten pieces of flesh are to be cut oft] and a scabbed 
beast is to be driven from the sheepfold, lest the whole 
house, mass of dough, body, and flock, be set on fire with 
the spark, be soured with the leaven, be putrified with the 
rotten flesh, perish by the scabbed beast." 7 

Brentius, whom you next quote, speaketh not to your 
cause. We willingly grant him and you, that man hath 
no power to make laws to bind conscience. But this 

7 [Igitur et scintilla statim ut ap- pecora ardeat, cornimpatur, putrescat, 

paruerit, extinguenda est, et fermen- intereant. Arius in Alexandria una 

turn a massae vicinia se movendum, scintilla fuit, sed quia non statim op- 

secandse putridae carnes, et scabiosum pressa est, totum orbem ejus flamma 

animal a caulis ovium repellendum, populata est. S. Hieronymi Opera, 

ne tota domus, niassa, corpus, et Tom. iii. p. 027. Parisiis, 1609. ed.] 


hinder etli not, but that men may see the laws of God 
observed which do bind conscience. 

The like answer may be returned to Luther, whom 
you next allege. First, that the government of the civil 
magistrate extendeth no further than over the bodies and 
goods of their subjects, not over their souls ; and therefore 
they may not undertake to give laws to the souls and 
consciences of men. 

Secondly, that the church of Christ doth not use the 
arm of secular power to compel men to the faith or pro 
fession of the truth, for this is to be done by spiritual 
weapons, whereby Christians are to be exhorted, not 

But this liindereth not that Christians sinning against 
light of faith and conscience, may justly be censured by 
the church with excommunication, and by the civil sword 
also, in case they shall corrupt others to the perdition of 
their souls. 

As for the testimony of the popish book, we weigh it 
not, as knowing whatsoever they speak for toleration of 
religion where themselves are under hatches, when they 
come to sit at stern, they judge and practise quite con 
trary: as both their writings and judicial proceedings have 
testified to the world these many years. 

To shut up this argument from testimony of writers. 
It is well known Augustine retracted this opinion of 
yours, which in his younger times he had held, but in 
after riper age reversed and refuted, as appeareth in the 
second book of his Retractations, chap. 5, and in his 
Epistles, 48, 50. And in his first book against Parme- 
nianus, chap. 7, he showeth, that if the Donatists were 
punished with death, they w ere justly punished. And in 
his eleventh Tractate upon John, " They murder," saith 
he, " souls, and themselves are afflicted in body : thev 


put men to everlasting death, and yet they complain 
when themselves are put to suffer temporal death." 8 

Optatus, in his third book, 9 justifieth Macarius, who 
had put some heretics to death ; that he had done no more 
herein than what Moses, Phineas, and Elias had done 
before him. 

Bernard, in his sixty-sixth Sermon in Cantica: 1 "Out of 
doub t,"saith he, " it is better that they should be restrained 
by the sword of him, who beareth not the sword in vain, 
than that they should be suffered to draw many others 
into their error. For he is the minister of God for 
wrath to every evil doer." 

Calvin s judgment is well known, who procured the 
death of Michael Servetus for pertinacity in heresy, and 
defended his fact by a book written of that argument. 2 

Beza also wrote a book, De Hasreticis Morte Plecten- 
clis, that heretics are to be punished with death. 3 Aretius 

8 [Sunt duo libri mei, quorum 
titulos est contra partem Donati. In 
quorum primo libro dixi non mihi 
placere ullius seculari potestatis im- 
petu schismaticos ad communionem 
violenter arctari. Quod (et) vere 
mihi non placebat, qua nondum ex- 
pertus eram, vel quantum mali eorum 
auderet impunitas, vel quantum eis in 
melius mutandis conferrc posset clili- 
i. fol. 10. To the same effect in Epist. 
4 8, 50, torn. ii. fol. 35, 45. Quid enim 
non isti juste patiuntur, cum ex altis- 
simo dei presidents, et ad cavendum 
ignem aeternum flagellis talibus admo- 
nentis judicio patiuntur, et merito 
criminum, et ordine potestatum ? 
Contra Epist. Farm en. torn. vii. fol. 
4. Tract xi. in Evang. Joann. torn, 

9 [Vindicavit (diximus) Moyses, 

vindicavit Helias, vindicavit Phinees. 
Vindicavit Macarius. Si nihil offen- 
derant, qui occisi esse dicuntur, fit 
Macarius reus, in eo quod solus nobis 
nescientibus, et vobis provocantibus 
fecit. S. Optati Opera, p. 75. Pa 
rish s, 1679.] 

1 [Melius prociildubio gladio coer- 
centur, illius videlicet qui non sine 
causa gladium portat, quam in suum 
errorem multos trajicere permittantur. 
Dei enim minister ille est, vindex in 
iram ei qui male agit. Opera, torn, 
iii. p. 369. edit. Parisiis, 1836.] 

2 [Fidelis expositio errorum Mich. 
Serveti et brevis eorundem refutatio, 
ubi docetur, jure gladii coercendos 
esse haereticos. Calvini Tract. Theol. 
p. 686. edit. 1597.] 

3 [Beza Tract. Theol. torn. i. p. 85. 
edit. 1582.] 


likewise took the like course about the death of Valen- 
tinus Gentilis, and justified the magistrate s proceeding 
against him, in a history Avritten of that argument. 4 

Finally, you come to answer some main objections, as 
you call them, which yet are but one, and that one ob 
ject eth nothing against what we hold. It is, say you, no 
prejudice to the commonwealth, if liberty of conscience 
were suffered to such as fear God indeed, which you 
prove by the examples of the patriarchs and others. 

But we readily grant you, liberty of conscience is to be 
granted to men that fear God indeed, as knowing they 
will not persist in heresy, or turbulent schism, when they 
are convinced in, conscience of the sinfulness thereof. 

But the question is, whether an heretic, after once or 
twice admonition, and so after conviction, or any other 
scandalous and heinous offender, may be tolerated, either 
in the church without excommunication, or in the com 
monwealth without such punishment as may preserve 
others from dangerous and damnable infection. 

Thus much I thought needful to be spoken, for avoid 
ing the grounds of your error. 

I forbear adding reasons to justify the truth, because 
you may find that done to your hand, in a treatise sent to 
some of the brethren late of Salem, who doubted as you 

The Lord Jesus lead you by a Spirit of truth into 
all truth, through Jesus Christ. 

4 [Aretius. Hist. Val. Gentilis. Geneva, 1567.] 





Truth. In what dark corner of the world, sweet Peace, 
are we two met? How hath this present evil world 
banished me from all the coasts and quarters of it ? And 
how hath the righteous God in judgment taken thee from 
the earth ? Rev. vi. 4. 

Peace. It is lamentably true, blessed Truth, the founda- Truth an(i 

* Peace rarely 

tions of the world have long been out of course : the gates 
of earth and hell have conspired together to intercept our 
joyful meeting and our holy kisses. With what a wearied, 
tired wing have I flown over nations, kingdoms, cities, 
towns, to find out precious Truth ! 

Truth. The like inquiries in my flights and travels have 
I made for Peace, and still am told she hath left the earth, 
and fled to heaven. 

Peace. Dear Truth, what is the earth but a dungeon of 
darkness, where Truth is not? 


Truth. And what is the Peace thereof but a fleeting 
dream, thine ape and counterfeit ? 

Peace. Oh ! where is the promise of the God of heaven, 
that Righteousness and Peace shall kiss each other? 

Truth. Patience, sweet Peace, these heavens and earth 
are growing old, and shall be changed like a garment, 
Psal. cii. [26.] They shall melt away, and be burnt up 
with all the works that are therein ; and the Most High 
Eternal Creator shall gloriously create new heavens and 
new earth, wherein dwells righteousness, 2 Pet. iii. [13.] 
Oar kisses then shall have their endless date of pure and 
sweetest joys. Till then both thou and I must hope, and 
wait, and bear the fury of the dragon s wrath, whose 
monstrous lies and furies shall with himself be cast into 
the lake of fire, the second death, Rev. xx. [10, 14.] 

Peace. Most precious Truth, thou knowest we are both 
pursued and laid [in wait] for. Mine heart is full of 
sighs, mine eyes with tears. Where can I better vent my 
full, oppressed bosom than into thine, whose faithful lips 
may for these few hours revive my drooping, wandering 
spirits, and here begin to wipe tears from mine eyes, and 
the eyes of my dearest children ? 

Truth. Sweet daughter of the God of peace, begin. 
Pour out thy sorrows, vent thy complaints. How joyful 
am I to improve these precious minutes to revive our 
hearts, both thine and mine, and the hearts of all that 
love the truth and peace, Zach. viii. [19.] 

Peace. Dear Truth, I know thy birth, thy nature, thy 
delight. They that know thee will prize thee far above 
themselves and lives, and sell themselves to buy thee. 
Well spake that famous Elizabeth to her famous attorney, 
Sir Edward Coke; "Mr. Attorney, go on as thou hast 
begun, and still plead, not pro Domina Reyina, but pro 
Domina Veritate? 


Truth. It is true, my crown is high; my sceptre is 
strong to break down strongest holds, to throw down 
highest crowns of all that plead, though but in thought, 
against me. Some few there are, but oh! how few are 
valiant for the truth, and dare to plead my cause, as my 
witnesses in sackcloth, Rev. xi. [3]; while all men s 
tongues are bent like bows to shoot out lying words 
against me ! 

Peace. Oh ! how could I spend eternal days and endless 
dates at thy holy feet, in listening to the precious oracles 
of thy mouth ! All the words of thy mouth are truth, 
and there is no iniquity in them. Thy lips drop as the 
honey-comb. But oh! since we must part anon, let us, 
as thou saidst, improve our minutes, and, according as 
thou promised st, revive me with thy words, which are 
sweeter than the honey and the honey-comb. 


Peace. Dear Truth, I have two sad complaints. 

Two great 

First. The most sober of thy witnesses, that dare to complaints 

* of Peace. 

plead thy cause, how are they charged to be mine enemies 
contentious, turbulent, seditious ! 

Secondly. Thine enemies, though they speak and rail 
against thee, though they outrageously pursue, imprison, 
banish, kill thy faithful witnesses, yet how is all vermi 
lioned over for justice against the heretics ! Yea, if they 
kindle coals, and blow the flames of devouring wars, that 
leave neither spiritual nor civil state, but burn up branch 
and root, yet how do all pretend an holy war ! He that 
kills, and he that is killed, they both cry out, " It is for 
God, and for their conscience." 



Persecutors It is true, nor one nor other seldom dare to plead the 
Christ, but mighty Prince Christ Jesus for their author, yet both 

Moses, for J 

their author, (both protestant and papist) pretend they have spoke 
with Moses and the prophets, who all, say they, before 
Christ came, allowed such holy persecutions [and] holy 
wars against the enemies of holy church. 

Truth. Dear Peace, to ease thy first complaint, it is 
true, thy dearest sons, most like their mother, peace 
keeping, peace-making sons of God, have borne and still 
must bear the blurs of troublers of Israel, and turners 
of the world upside down. And it is true again, what 
. Solomon once spake: The beginning of strife is as when 

one letteth out water, therefore, saith he, leave off contention 
before it be meddled ivith. This caveat should keep the 
banks and sluices firm and strong, that strife, like a 
breach of waters, break not in upon the sons of men. 

strife dis- Yet strife must be distinguished : it is necessary, or 
unnecessary, godly or ungodly, Christian or unchristian, &c. 

8triS ns dly ^ * s uimecessarv > unlawful, dishonourable, ungodly, 
unchristian, in most cases in the world: for there is a 
possibility of keeping sweet Peace in most cases, and, if 
it be possible, it is the express command of God that Peace 
be kept, Rom. xii. [18.] 

Again, it is necessary, honourable, godly, &c. 5 with 
civil and earthly weapons to defend the innocent, and to 
rescue the oppressed from the violent paws and jaws of 
oppressing, persecuting Nimrods, Psal. Ixxiii. Job xxix. 

It is as necessary, yea, more honourable, godly, and 
Christian, to fight the fight of faith, with religious and 
spiritual artillery, and to contend earnestly for the faith of 
Jesus, once delivered to the saints, against all opposers, 
and the gates of earth and hell, men or devils, yea, against 
Paul himself, or an angel from heaven, if he bring any 
other faith or doctrine, Jude 4, 9 ; Gal. i. 8. 


Peace. With a clashing of such arms am I never 
wakened. Speak once again, dear Truth, to my second 
complaint of bloody persecution, and devouring wars, 
marching under the colours of upright justice and holy 
zeal, &c. 

A threefold 

Truth. Mine ears have long been filled with a threefold d leful , cr y- 

Christ swor- 

doleful outcry S&L 

First. Of one hundred forty-four thousand virgins, Rev. rti 

n -i -I -i -i -i i ship, there- 

xiv., forced and ravished by emperors, kings, governors, fore, is a 

false bed. 

to their beds of worship and religion; set up, like Ab 
salom s, on high, in their several states and countries. 

Secondly. The cry of those precious souls under the The cry of 

J J the souls un 

altar, Rev. vi. [9,] the souls of such as have been p e r- dorthealtar - 
secuted and slain for the testimony and witness of Jesus, 
whose blood hath been spilt like water upon the earth; 
and that because they have held fast the truth and witness 
of Jesus, against the worship of the states and times, 
compelling to an uniformity of state religion. 

These cries of murdered virgins, who can sit still and 
hear? Who can but run, with zeal inflamed, to prevent 
the deflowering of chaste souls, and spilling of the blood 
of the innocent ? Humanity stirs up and prompts the 
sons of men to draw material swords for a virgin s chas 
tity and life, against a ravishing murderer ; and piety 
and Christianity must needs awaken the sons of God to 
draw the spiritual sword, the word of God, to preserve 
the chastity and life of spiritual virgins, who abhor the 
spiritual defilements of false worship, Rev. xiv. 

Thirdly. The cry of the whole earth, made drunk witfcfo 
the blood of its inhabitants slaughtering each other in 
their blinded zeal for conscience, for religion, against the 
catholics, against the Lutherans, &c. 

What fearful cries, within these twenty years, of 
hundred thousands, men, women, children, fathers, 

r> 2 


mothers, husbands, wives, brethren, sisters, old and young, 
high and low, plundered, ravished, slaughtered, murdered, 
famished ! And hence these cries, that men fling away 
the spiritual sword and spiritual artillery, in spiritual and 
religious causes, and rather trust, for the suppressing of 
each other s gods, conscience, and religion, as they sup 
pose, to an arm of flesh and sword of steel. 

Truth. Sweet Peace, what hast thou there? 

Peace. Arguments against persecution for cause of con 

Truth. And what there ? 

Peace. An answer to such arguments, contrarily main 
taining such persecution for cause of conscience. 

Truth. These arguments against such persecution, and 
the answer pleading for it, [are] written, as Love hopes, 
from godly intentions, hearts, and hands, yet in a mar 
vellously different style and manner the arguments 
against persecution in milk, the answer for it, as I may 
say, in blood. 

The author of these arguments against persecution, as 
I have been informed, being committed by some then in 
arguments power close prisoner to Newgate, for the witness of some 
secution in truths of Jesus, and having not the use of pen and ink, 
wrote these arguments in milk, in sheets of paper brought 
to him by the woman, his keeper, from a friend in London 
as the stopples of his milk bottle. 

In such paper, written with milk, nothing will appear ; 
but the way of reading it by fire being known to this 
friend who received the papers, he transcribed and kept 
together the papers, although the author himself could 
not correct, nor view what himself had written. 

It was in milk, tending to soul nourishment, even for 
babes and sucklings in Christ : 

It was in milk, spiritually white, pure and innocent, 


like those white horses of the word of truth and meekness, 
and the white linen or armour of righteousness, in the 
army of Jesus, Rev. vi. and xix. : 

It was in milk, soft, meek, peaceable, and gentle, 
tending both to the peace of souls, and the peace of states 
and kingdoms. 

Peace. The answer, though I hope out of milky pure The answer 
intentions, is returned in blood bloody and slaughterous blood - 
conclusions bloody to the souls of all men, forced to the 
religion and worship which every civil state or common 
weal agrees on, and compels all subjects to, in a dissembled 
uniformity : 

Bloody to the bodies, first of the holy witnesses of 
Christ Jesus, who testify against such invented worships: 

Secondly, of the nations and peoples slaughtering each 
other for their several respective religions and consciences. 


Truth. In the answer, Mr. Cotton first lays down 
several distinctions and conclusions of his own, tending 
to prove persecution. 

Secondly. Answers to the scriptures and arguments 
proposed against persecution. 

Peace. The first distinction is this : by persecution for The first dis- 

. . tinction dis- 

cause oi conscience, " 1 conceive you mean either for pro- 
fessing some point of doctrine which you believe in con 
science to be the truth, or for practising some work which 
you believe in conscience to be a religious duty." 

Truth. I acknowledge that to molest any person, Jew Definition of 

G..-, ..-, 

entile, for either professing doctrine, or practising 



worship merely religious or spiritual, it is to persecute 
him ; and such a person,, whatever his doctrine or practice 
be,, true or false,, suffereth persecution for conscience. 

But withal I desire it may be well observed,, that this 
distinction is not full and complete. For beside this, that 
a man may be persecuted because he holdeth or practiseth 
what he believes in conscience to be a truth, as Daniel 
did, for which he was cast into the lions den, Dan. vi. 16, 
and many thousands of Christians, because they durst not 
cease to preach and practise what they believed was by God 
commanded, as the apostles answered, Acts iv. and v., I 
say, besides this, a man may also be persecuted because he 
dares not be constrained to yield obedience to such doc- 
tribes and worships as are by men invented and appointed. 

constrained* So the three famous Jews, who were cast into the fiery 
furnace for refusing to fall down, in a nonconformity to 
the whole conforming world, before the golden image, 
Dan. iii. 2 1. 5 So thousands of Christ s witnesses, and of 
late in those bloody Marian days, have rather chosen to 
yield their bodies to all sorts of torments, than to subscribe 
to doctrines, or practise worships, unto which the states 
and times (as Nebuchadnezzar to his golden image) have 
compelled and urged them. 

A chaste A chaste wife will not only abhor to be restrained from 

.soul in God s 

k er husband s bed as adulterous and polluted, but also 
abhor (if not much more) to be constrained to the bed of 
a stranger. And what is abominable in corporal, is much 
more loathsome in spiritual whoredom and defilement. 

The spouse of Christ Jesus, who could not find her 
soul s beloved in the ways of his worship and ministry, 

5 [" Thus a man may find a knot and complete." Reply of Cotton in 

in a bulrush, yea, thus a man that The Bloudy Tenent Wash d and 

were disposed might find fault with made White in the Blow! of the 

the comforts of God for not being full Lambe, p. 4, edit. 164 7-] 


Cant, i., iii., and v. chapters, abhorred to turn aside to 
other flocks, worships, &c., and to embrace the bosom of a 
false Christ, Cant. i. 8. 


Peace. The second distinction is this : The second 

" In points of doctrine some are fundamental, without discussed! 1 
right belief whereof a man cannot be saved; others are 
circumstantial and less principal, wherein a man may 
differ in judgment without prejudice of salvation on either 

Truth. To this distinction I dare not subscribe, for 
then I should everlastingly condemn thousands, and ten 
thousands, yea, the whole generation of the righteous, 
who since the falling away from the first primitive Chris- God s people 

. -, p T n may err from 

tian state or worship, have and do err fundamentally the very fun 
damentals of 
concerning the true matter, constitution, gathering, and vfcibie wor- 

governing of the church. And yet, far be it from any 
pious breast to imagine that they are not saved, and that 
their souls are not bound up in the bundle of eternal life. 6 

We read of four sorts of spiritual, or Christian, founda 
tions in the New Testament. 

First, the foundation of all foundations, the corner-stone Four sortg 
itself, the Lord Jesus, on whom all depend persons, doc- foundations. 
trines, practices, 1 Cor. iii. [11.] 

2. Ministerial foundations. The church is built upon 
the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Ephes. ii. 20. 

8 [" Fundamental doctrines are of I speak of the former sort of these 

two sorts : some hold forth the founda- only the other sort I look at as less 

tion of Christian religion others con- principal, in comparison of these." 

cern the foundation of the church. Cotton s Reply, p. 5.] 


3. The foundation of future rejoicing in the fruits of 
obedience, 1 Tim. vi. [19.] 

2 TjJ|*" a T fle 4. The foundation of doctrines, without the knowledge 
ti<L f n th a e f which there can be no true profession of Christ, accord- 
Sg"on ia ? re "ing to the first institution, Heb. vi. [1, 2,] the founda 
tion, or principles, of repentance from dead works, faith 
towards God, the doctrine of baptisms, laying on of hands, 
the resurrection, and eternal judgment. In some of these, 
to wit, those concerning baptisms and laying on of hands, 
God s people will be found to be ignorant for many 
hundred years ; and I yet cannot see it proved that light 
is risen, I mean the light of the first institution, in practice. 
God s people in their persons, heart-waking (Cant. v. 2), 
in the life of personal grace, will yet be found fast asleep 
in respect of public Christian worship. 
coming out God s people, in their persons, are His, most dear and 

of Babel, not 

precious : yet in respect of the Christian worship they are 
mingled amongst the Babylonians, from whence they are 
called to come out, not locally, as some have said, for that 
belonged to a material and local Babel (and literal Babel 
and Jerusalem have now no difference, John iv. 21), but 
spiritually and mystically to come out from her sins and 

If Mr. Cotton maintain the true church of Christ to 
consist of the true matter of holy persons called out from 
the world (and the true form of union in a church govern 
ment), and that also neither national, provincial, nor 
diocesan churches are of Christ s institution : how many 
thousands of God s people of all sorts, clergy and laity, as 
they call them, will they find, both in former and later 
times, captivated in such national, provincial, and diocesan 
churches ? yea, and so far from living in, yea or knowing 
of any such churches, for matter and form, as they con 
ceive now only to be true, that until of late years, how 


few of God s people knew any other church than the The great i g - 

t norance of 

parish church of dead stones or timber? It being a late God s people 


marvellous light, revealed by Christ Jesus, the Sun of $ e t at t u r r u e e 
righteousness, that his people are a company or church of ch 
living stones, 1 Pet. ii. 9. 

And, however his own soul, and the souls of many Mr. cotton 

J and all the 

others, precious to God, are persuaded to separate from 
national, provincial, and diocesan churches, and to assemble 
into particular churches, yet, since there are no parish e a s, s< and U con- 
churches in England, but what are made up of the parish not yet clear 

in the fun- 

bounds within such and such a compass of houses, and aamentai 

matter of a 

that such churches have been and are in constant de 
pendence on, and subordination to the national church : 
how can the New English particular churches join with 
the old English parish churches in so many ordinances 
of word, prayer, singing, contribution, &c., but they 
must needs confess, that as yet their souls are far from 
the knowledge of the foundation of a true Christian 
church, whose matter must not only be living stones, 
but also separated from the rubbish of anti-christian 
confusions and desolations. 


Peace. With lamentation, I may add, how can their 
souls be clear in this foundation of the true Christian 
matter, who persecute and oppress their own acknow 
ledged brethren, presenting light unto them about this 
point ? But I shall now present you with Mr. Cotton s 
third distinction. " In points of practice," saith he, "some 
concern the weightier duties of the law, as what God we 
worship, and with what kind of worship ; whether such, 


as if it be right, fellowship with God is held; if false, 
fellowship with God is lost." 

Truth. It is worth the inquiry, what kind of worship 
he intendeth: for worship is of various signification. 
Whether in general acceptation he mean the Tightness 
or corruptness of the church, or the ministry of the 
church, or the ministrations of the word, prayer, seals, 

The true mi- And because it pleaseth the Spirit of God to make the 

damentai.; ministry one of the foundations of the Christian religion, 

Heb. vi. 1, 2, and also to make the ministry of the word 

and prayer in the church to be two special works, even of 

the apostles themselves, Acts vi. 2, I shall desire it may 

be well considered in the fear of God. 7 

TheNewEn- First, concerning the ministrv of the word. The New 

glish minis- * 

ters exam- English ministers, when thev were new elected and or- 

ined. * 

dained ministers in New England, must undeniably grant, 
that at that time they were no ministers, notwithstanding 
their profession of standing so long in a true ministry in 
old England, whether received from the bishops, which 
some have maintained true, or from the people, which 
Mr. Cotton and others better liked, and which ministry 
was always accounted perpetual and indelible. I apply, 
and ask, will it not follow, that if their new ministry and 
ordination be true, the former was false ? and if false, that 
in the exercise of it, notwithstanding abilities, graces, 
intentions, labours, and, by God s gracious, unpromised, 
and extraordinary blessing, some success, I say, will it 
not according to this distinction follow, that according to 
visible rule, fellowship with God was lost ? 

7 [" It is not truly said, that the religion, for it is only a foundation of 
Spirit of God maketh the ministry church order, not of faith, or religion." 
one of the foundations of Christian Cotton s Reply, p. 8.] 


Secondly, concerning prayer. The New English minis- common 

. . . prayer cast 

ters have disclaimed and written against that worshipping off.andwrit- 

& ten against 

of God by the common or set forms of prayer, which yet ^JJi. N * w 
themselves practised in England, notwithstanding they 
knew that many servants of God, in great sufferings, 
witnessed against such a ministry of the word, and such a 
ministry of prayer. 

Peace. I could name the persons, time, and place, when 
some of them were faithfully admonished for using of the 
Common Prayer, and the arguments presented to them, 
then seeming weak, but now acknowledged sound; yet, 
at that time, they satisfied their hearts with the practice 
of the author of the Council of Trent, who used to read 
only some of the choicest selected prayers in the mass-book, 
which I confess was also their own practice in their using 
of the Common Prayer. 8 But now, according to this 
distinction, I ask whether or no fellowship with God in 
such prayers was lost ? 

Truth. I could particularize other exercises of worship, 
which cannot be denied, according to this distinction, to 
be of the weightier points of the law : to wit, what God 
we worship, and with what kind of worship ? Avherein fellow 
ship with God, in many of our unclean and abominable 
worships, hath been lost. Only upon these premises I 
shall observe: first, that God s people, even the standard- God , speople 
bearers and leaders of them, according to this distinction, 

I i -t /* -i . i i i with false 

have worshipped (jrod, in their sleepy ignorance, by such worships. 
a kind of worship as wherein fellowship with God is lost ; 

8 [In his Reply, Mr. Cotton affects Cotton, whose reply was to the effect, 

to have forgotten these admonitions " that he selected the good and best 

and arguments; but Mr. Williams, in prayers in his use of that book, as 

his rejoinder, reminds him that once, the author of the Council of Trent 

when riding together in company with used to do." Cotton s Reply, p. 8; 

Mr. Hooker to and from Sempringham, Williams Bloudy Tenent made yet 

Mr. Williams did thus address Mr. more Bloudy, p. 12.] 


yea also, that it is possible for them to do, after much 
light is risen against such worship, and in particular, 
brought to the eyes of such holy and worthy persons. 

Secondly, there may be inward and secret fellowship 
with God in false ministries of word and prayer, (for that 
to the eternal praise of infinite mercy, beyond a word or 
promise of God, I acknowledge 9 ) when yet, as the distinc 
tion saith, in such worship, not being right, fellowship 
with God is lost, and such a service or ministration must 
be lamented and forsaken. 

Thirdly, I observe that God s people may live and die 
in such kinds of worship, notwithstanding that light from 
God, publicly and privately, hath been presented to them, 
able to convince; yet, not reaching to their conviction, 
and forsaking of such ways, contrary to a conclusion after- 
ward expressed ; to wit, " that fundamentals are so clear, 

tals of Chris- . 

tian worship that a man cannot but be convinced in conscience, and 

not so easy 

and clear, therefore that such a person not being convinced, he is 
condemned of himself, and may be persecuted for sinning 
against his conscience." 

Fourthly, I observe, that in such a maintaining a clear 
ness of fundamentals or weightier points, and upon that 
ground a persecuting of men because they sin against 
their consciences, Mr. Cotton measures that to others, 
which himself when he lived in such practices would not 
have had measured to himself. As first, that it might 
have been affirmed of him, that in such practices he did 
sin against his conscience, having sufficient light shining 
about him. 

Secondly, that he should or might lawfully have been 
cut off by death or banishment, as an heretic, sinning 
against his own conscience. 

9 It pleaseth God sometimes, beyond his promise, to convey blessings and 
comfort to His, in false worships. 


And in this respect the speech of king James was A notable 

speech of 

notable to a great nonconformitant, converted, as is said, jjng James 
by king James to conformity, and counselling the king JJfturned 1 
afterward to persecute the nonconformists even unto pers 
death: "Thou beast," quoth the king, "if I had dealt so 
with thee in thy nonconformity, where hadst thou been?" 


Peace. The next distinction concerneth the manner of SJ 
persons holding forth the aforesaid practices, not only the cu 
weightier duties of the law, but points of doctrine and 
worship less principal : 

" Some," saith he, " hold them forth in a meek and 
peaceable way ; some with such arrogance and impetuous- 
ness, as of itself tendeth to the disturbance of civil peace." 
Truth. In the examination of this distinction we shall 

First, what is civil peace (wherein we shall vindicate 
thy name the better), 

Secondly, what it is to hold forth a doctrine, or practice, 
in this impetuousness or arrogancy. 

First, for civil peace, what is it but pax civitatis, the 
peace of the city, whether an English city, Scotch, or 
Irish city, or further abroad, French, Spanish, Turkish 
city, &c. 

Thus it pleased the Father of lights to define it, Jer. 
xxix. 7, Pray for the peace of the city ; which peace of 
the city, or citizens, so compacted in a civil way of union, 
may be entire, unbroken, safe, &c., notwithstanding so 
many thousands of God s people, the Jews, were there- in 
bondage, and would neither be constrained to the worship 



of the city Babel, nor restrained from so much of the 
worship of the true God as they then could practice, as 
is plain in the practice of the three worthies, Shadrach, 
Meshach, and Abednego, as also of Daniel, Dan. iii. and 
Dan. vi. the peace of the city or kingdom being a far 
different peace from the peace of the religion, or spiritual 
worship, maintained and professed of the citizens. This 
peace of their (worshij^which worship also in some cities being 

God s people various) beinff a false peace, God s people were and ought 


conformi- to be nonconformitants, not daring either to be restrained 

tants to evil. 

from the true, or constrained to false worship ; and yet 

without breach of the civil or city peace, properly so called. 

Peace. Hence it is that so many glorious and flourishing 

cities of the world maintain their civil peace; yea, the 

very Americans and wildest pagans keep the peace of 

The differ- their towns or cities, though, neither in one nor the other 

ence be- 

tween spiri- can any man prove a true church of God in those places, 

tual and civil 

peace. an( j consequently no spiritual and heavenly peace. The 
peace spiritual, whether true or false, being of a higher 
and far different nature from the peace of the place or 
people, being merely and essentially civil and human. 

The differ- Truth. Oh ! how lost are the sons of men in this point ! 

tween the To illustrate this : the church, or company of worship- 

spiritual and 

civil state, pers, whether true or false, is like unto a body or college 

of physicians in a city like unto a corporation, society, or 
company of East India or Turkey merchants, or any other 
society or company in London ; which companies may 
hold their courts, keep their records, hold disputations, 
and in matters concerning their society may dissent, 
divide, break into schisms and factions, sue and implead 
each other at the law, yea, wholly break up and dissolve into 
pieces and nothing, and yet the peace of the city not be 
in the least measure impaired or disturbed ; because the 
essence or being of the city, and so the well being and 


peace thereof, is essentially distinct from those particular 
societies; the city courts, city laws, city punishments 
distinct from theirs. The city was before them, and 
stands absolute and entire when such a corporation or 
society is taken down. For instance further, the city or The civil 
civil state of Ephesus was essentially distinct from the Spiritual 6 es- 
worship of Diana in the city, or of the whole city. Again, churdi of ^ 
the church of Christ in Ephesus, which were God s people, 
converted and called out from the worship of that city 
unto Christianity, or worship of God in Christ, was dis 
tinct from both. 

Now suppose that God remove the candlestick from 
Ephesus, yea, though the whole worship of the city of 
Ephesus should be altered, yet, if men be true and 
honestly ingenuous to city covenants, combinations, and 
principles, all this might be without the least impeach 
ment or infringement of the peace of the city of Ephesus. 

Thus in the city of Smyrna was the city itself or civil 
estate one thing, the spiritual or religious state of Smyrna 
another: the church of Christ in Smyrna distinct 
from them both. And the synagogue of the Jews, 
whether literally Jews, as some think, or mystically false 
Christians, as others, called the synagogue of Satan, Rev. ii., 
[was] distinct from all these. And notwithstanding these 
spiritual oppositions in point of worship and religion, yet 
hear we not the least noise nor need we, if men keep but 
the bond of civility, of any civil breach, or breach of civil 
peace amongst them ; and to persecute God s people there 
for religion, that only was a breach of civility itself. 




Peace. Now to the second query, what it is to hold forth 

doctrine or practice in an arrogant or impetuous way ? 

The answer- Truth. Although it hath not pleased Mr. Cotton to 

scare in ge- declare what is this arrogant or impetuous holding forth of 

doctrine or practice tending to disturbance of civil peace, 

I cannot but express rny sad and sorrowful observation, 

how it pleaseth God to leave him as to take up the common 

reproachful accusation of the accuser of God s children: 

God s meek-* w ^ tnat tne 7 are arrogant and impetuous. Which 

u?e t s o er be ants charge, together with that of obstinacy, pertinacity, pride, 

rogant and troublers of the city, &c., Satan commonly loads the meek- 


est of the saints and witnesses of Jesus with. 

To wipe off, therefore, these foul blurs and aspersions 

from the fair and beautiful face of the spouse of Jesus, I 

six cases shall select and propose five or six cases, for which God s 


God s people witnesses, in all ages and generations of men, have been 

have been 

tous a ye d t m!t cnar g e( ^ witK arrogance, impetuousness, &c., and yet the 

arrogant. Q. Q( J Q neaveili an( j J u( Jg e o f all men, hath graciously 

discharged them from such crimes, and maintained and 

avowed them for his faithful and peaceable servants. 

Christ Jesus First, God s people have proclaimed, taught, disputed, 

and his dis- _ . . . . 

cipies teach for divers months together, a new religion and worship, 

publicly a 

trine d funda C0n t rar 7 * tne worship projected in the town, city, or 

stafce wnere tne y nave lived, or where they have travelled, 
profe5 n as did the Lord Jesus himself over all Galilee, and the 

apostles after Him in all places, both in the synagogues 

and market-places, as appears Acts xvii. 2, 17 ; Acts xviii. 

4, 8. Yet this is no arrogance nor impetuousness. 
God s ser- Secondly, God s servants have been zealous for their 
o!S a s ndboid Lord and Master, even to the very faces of the highest, 


and concerning the persons of the highest, so far as they to the faces 
have opposed the truth of God : so Elijah to the face of st. 
Ahabj " It is not I, but thou, and thy father s house, that [i Kings 
troublest Israel." So the Lord Jesus concerning Herod, XYllL 18>] 
Go, tell that fox. So Paul, God delivered me from the g uke xiii - 
mouth of the lion; and to Ananias, Thou whited wall; and [Actsxxm. 
yet in all this no arrogance, nor impetuousness. 

Thirdly. God s people have been immoveable, constant, God s people 

3 constantly 

and resolved to the death, in refusing to submit to false 
worships, and in preaching and professing the true worship, 
contrary to the express command of public authority. So 
the three famous worthies against the command of Nebu 
chadnezzar, and the uniform conformity of all nations 
agreeing upon a false worship, Dan. iii. So the apostles, 
Acts iv. and v., and so the witnesses of Jesus in all ages, 
who loved not their lives to the death, Kev. xiL, not re 
garding sweet life nor bitter death, and yet not arrogant, 
nor impetuous. 

Fourthly, God s people, since the coming of the King 
of Israel, the Lord Jesus, have openly and constantly 

professed, that no civil magistrate, no king, nor Caesar, King to le 

. , , . conscience. 

nave any power over the souls or consciences or their 
subjects, in the matters of God and the crown of Jesus; 
but the civil magistrates themselves, yea, kings and Ca3sars, 
are bound to subject their own souls to the ministry and 
church, the power and government of this Lord Jesus, 
the King of kings. Hence was the charge against the 
apostles (false in civil, but true in spirituals) that they 
affirmed that there was another King, one Jesus, Acts xvii. 
7. And, indeed, this was the great charge against the 
Lord Jesus himself, which the Jews laid against him, 
and for which he suffered death, as appears by the accusa 
tion written over his head upon the gallows, John xix. 19, 
Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews. 



That Christ This was and is the sum of all true preaching of the 
aione over gospel, or glad news, viz., that God anointed Jesus to be 
the sum of +v, e go i e Xing and Governor of all the Israel of God in 

the su: 
all true 

hing. gpj r i tua i and soul causes, Ps. ii. 9 ; Acts ii. 36. Yet this 
kingly power of His, he resolved not to manage in His 
own person, but ministerially in the hands of such messen 
gers which he sent forth to preach and baptize, and to 
such as believed that word they preached, John xvii. 
And yet here no arrogance, nor impetuousness. 

^ God s people, in delivering the mind and will of 

SJ of St clvii Q& concerning the kingdoms and civil states where they 
have lived, have seemed in all show of common sense and 
rational policy, if men look not higher with the eye of 
faith, to endanger and overthrow the very civil state, as 
appeareth by all Jeremiah s preaching and counsel to king 
Zedekiah, his princes and people, insomuch that the charge 
of the princes against Jeremiah was, that he discouraged 
the army from fighting against the Babylonians, and 
weakened the land from its own defence ; and this charge 
in the eye of reason, seemed not to be unreasonable, or 
unrighteous, Jer. xxxvii. and xxxviii.; and yet in Jeremiah 
no arrogance, nor impetuousness. 

God s word 6. Lastly, God s people, by their preaching, disputing, 
~;c., have been, though not the cause, yet accidentally 
the occasion of great contentions and divisions, yea, 
tumults and uproars, in towns and cities where they have 
lived and come ; and yet neither their doctrine nor them 
selves arrogant nor impetuous, however so charged: for 
thus the Lord Jesus discovereth men s false and secure 
suppositions, Luke xii. 51, Suppose ye that I am come to 
give peace on the earth ? I tell you, nay ; but rather division ; 
for from henceforth shall there be five in one house divided, 
three against two, and two against three, the father shall be 
divided against the son and the son against the father, &c. 


And thus upon the occasion of the apostles preaching the 
kingdom and worship of God in Christ, were most com 
monly uproars and tumults wherever they came. For 
instance, those strange and monstrous uproars at Iconium, 
at Ephesus, at Jerusalem, Acts xiv. 4 ; Acts xix. 29, 40 ; 
Acts xxi. 30, 31. 


Peace. It will be said, dear Truth, what the Lord Jesus [ 
and his messengers taught was truth ; but the question is 
about error. 

Truth. I answer, This distinction now in discussion 
concerns not truth or error, but the manner of holding 
forth or divulging. 

I acknowledge that such may be the way and manner 
of holding forth, either with railing or reviling, daring or 
challenging speeches, or with force of arms, swords, guns, 
prisons, &c., that it may not only tend to break, but may 
actually break the civil peace, or peace of the city. 

Yet these instances propounded are cases of great oppo- The in- 

-, . r i ^stances pro- 

sition and spiritual hostility, and occasions ot breach of posed cany 

a great show 

civil peace; and yet as the borders, or matter, were *J^^J tu " et 
gold, so the specks, or manner, (Cantic. i. [11,]) were of 
silver : both matter and manner pure, holy, peaceable, and ab 

Moreover, I answer, That it is possible and common for 
persons of soft and gentle nature and spirits, to hold out 
falsehood with more seeming meekness and peaceableness, 
than the Lord Jesus or his servants did or do hold forth 
the true and everlasting gospel. So that the answerer 
would be requested to explain what he means by this 

E 2 


arrogant and impetuous holding forth of any doctrine, 
which very manner of holding forth tends to break civil 
peace, and comes under the cognizance and correction of 
the civil magistrate, lest he build the sepulchre of the 
prophets, and say, If we had been in the Pharisees days, the 
Roman emperor s days, or the bloody Marian days, we would 
not have been partakers with them in the blood of the prophets, 
Matt, xxiii. 30, who were charged with arrogance and 


[2 obj.] Peace. It will here be said, whence then ariseth civil 

dissensions and uproars about matters of religion ? 
The true Truth. I answer : When a kingdom or state, town or 

muits at the family, lies and lives in the guilt of a false god, false 

preaching of J & 

the word. Christ, false worship, no wonder if sore eyes be troubled 
at the appearance of the light, be it never so sweet. No 
wonder if a body full of corrupt humours be troubled at 
strong, though wholesome, physic if persons sleepy and 
loving to sleep be troubled at the noise of shrill, though 
silver, alarums. No wonder if Adonijah and all his com 
pany be amazed and troubled at the sound of the right 
heir, king Solomon, 1 Kings i. [41, 49,] if the husband 
men were troubled when the Lord of the vineyard sent 
servant after servant, and at last his only son, and they 
beat, and wounded, and killed even the son himself, be 
cause they meant themselves to seize upon the inheritance, 
unto which they had no right, Matt. xxi. 38. Hence all 
those tumults about the apostles in the Acts, &c. Where 
as, good eyes are not so troubled at light; vigilant and 
watchful persons, loyal and faithful, are not so troubled at 
the true, no, nor at a false religion of Jew or Gentile. 


Secondly. Breach of civil peace may arise when false 
and idolatrous practices are held forth, and yet no breach of err P ors essmg 
civil peace from the doctrine or practice, or the manner of 
holding forth, but from that wrong and preposterous way 
of suppressing, preventing, and extinguishing such doc 
trines or practices by weapons of wrath and blood, whips, 
stocks, imprisonment, banishment, death, &c.; by which 
men commonly are persuaded to convert heretics, and to 
cast out unclean spirits, which only the finger of God can 
do, that is, the mighty power of the Spirit in the word. 

Hence the town is in an uproar, and the country takes 
the alarum to expel that fog or mist of error, heresy, bias- 
phemy, as is supposed, with swords and guns. Whereas 
it is light alone, even light from the bright shining Sun 
of Kighteousness, which is able, in the souls and con 
sciences of men, to dispel and scatter such fogs and dark 

Hence the sons of men, as David speaks in another case, 
Ps. xxxix. [6,] disquiet themselves in vain, and unmerci 
fully disquiet others, as, by the help of the Lord, in the 
sequel of this discourse shall more appear. 


Peace. Now the last distinction is this: " Persecution 
for conscience is either for a rightly informed conscience, 
or a blind and erroneous conscience." 

Truth. Indeed, both these consciences are persecuted ; 
but lamentably blind and erroneous will those consciences 
shortly appear to be, which out of zeal for God, as is pre- 
tended, have persecuted either. And heavy is the doom 
of those blind guides and idol shepherds, whose right eye 

roneous con- 


God s finger of jealousy hath put out, who flattering the 
ten horns, or worldly powers, persuade them what excel 
lent and faithful service they perform to God, in perse 
cuting both these consciences ; either hanging up a rightly 
informed conscience, and therein the Lord Jesus himself, 
between two malefactors, or else killing the erroneous and 
the blind, like Saul, out of zeal to the Israel of God, the 
poor Gibeonites, whom it pleased God to permit to live ; 
and yet that hostility and cruelty used against them, as 
the repeated judgment year after year upon the whole 
land after told them, could not be pardoned until the death 
of the persecutor, Saul [and] his sons, had appeased the 
Lord s displeasure, 2 Sam. xxi. 


Peace. After explication in these distinctions, it pleaseth 
the answerer to give his resolution to the question in four 

First, that he holds it " not lawful to persecute any for 
conscience sake rightly informed, for in persecuting such," 
saith he, " Christ himself is persecuted." For which 
reason, truly rendered, he quotes, Acts ix. 4, Saul, Saul, 
ivhy persecutest tlwu me 9 

Truth. He that shall read this conclusion over a thou 
sand times, shall as soon find darkness in the bright beams 
of the sun, as in this so clear and shining a beam of Truth; 
viz., that Christ Jesus, in his truth, must not be persecuted. 

Yet, this I must ask, for it will be admired by all sober 
men, what should be the cause or inducement to the 
answerer s mind to lay down such a position or thesis as 
this is, It is not lawful to persecute the Lord Jesus ? 


Search all scriptures, histories, records, monuments; ^ 
consult with all experiences ; did ever Pharaoh, Saul, SJ 
Ahab, Jezebel, Scribes and Pharisees, the Jews, Herod, 
the bloody Neros, Gardiners, Bonners, pope, or devil 
himself, profess to persecute the Son of God, Jesus as 
Jesus, Christ as Christ, without a mask or covering ? 

No, saith Pharaoh, the Israelites are idle, and therefore 
speak they of sacrificing. David is risen up in a con 
spiracy against Saul, therefore persecute him. Naboth 
hath blasphemed God and the king, therefore stone him. 
Christ is a seducer of the people, a blasphemer against 
God, and traitor against Caesar, therefore hang him. 
Christians are schismatical, factious, heretical, therefore 
persecute them. The devil hath deluded John Huss, 
therefore crown him with a paper of devils, and burn 
him, &c. 

Peace. One thing I see apparently in the Lord s over 
ruling the pen of this worthy answerer, viz., a secret 
whispering from heaven to him, that although his soul 
aim at Christ, and hath wrought much for Christ in many 
sincere intentions, and God s merciful and patient accept 
ance, yet he hath never left the tents of such who think 
they do God good service in killing the Lord Jesus in his 
servants. And yet they say, if we had been in the days 
of our fathers, in queen Mary s days, &c., we would never 
have consented to such persecution. And therefore, when 
they persecute Christ Jesus in his truths or servants, they 
say, "Do not say you are persecuted for the word, for 
Christ s sake : for we hold it not lawful to persecute Jesus 

Let me also add a second: So far as he hath been a 
guide, by preaching for persecution, I say, wherein he 
hath been a guide and leader, by misinterpreting and 
applying the writings of truth, so far, I say, his own 


mouth and hands shall judge (I hope not his person, but) 
his actions; for the Lord Jesus hath suffered by him, 
Acts ix. 5. And if the Lord Jesus himself were present, 
Himself should suffer that in his own person, which his 
servants witnessing his truth do suffer for his sake. 


Peace. Their second conclusion is this: "It is not 
lawful to persecute an erroneous and blind conscience, 
even in fundamental and weighty points, till after admo 
nition once or twice, Tit. iii. 1 1, and then such consciences 
may be persecuted ; because the word of God is so clear in 
fundamental and weighty points, that such a person cannot 
but sin against his conscience, and so being condemned of 
himself, that is, of his conscience, he may be persecuted 
for sinning against his own conscience." 1 

Truth. I answer, In that great battle between the Lord 
Jesus and the devil, it is observable that Satan takes up 
the weapons of scripture, and such scripture which in show 
and colour was excellent for his purpose ; but in this third 
of Titus, as Solomon speaks of the birds of heaven, Prov. i. 

1 [" Though I say, that it is not conscience. ... It was no part of 

lawful to persecute any, though erring my words or meaning, to say, that 

in fundamental and weighty points, every heretic, though erring in some 

till after once or twice admonition, I fundamental and weighty points, and 

do not therefore say, that after once for the same excommunicated, shall 

or twice admonition, then such con- forthwith be punished by the civil 

sciences may be persecuted. But magistrate ; unless it do afterwards 

that if such a man, after such admo- appear that lie break forth further, 

nition, shall still persist in the error either into blasphemy, or idolatry, or 

of his way, and be therefore punished, seducement of others to his heretical 

he is not persecuted for cause of con- pernicious ways." Cotton s Reply, 

science, but for sinning against his p. 27.] 


[17,] a man may evidently see the snare : and I know the 
time is coming wherein it shall be said, Surely in vain the 
net is laid in the sight of the saints (heavenly birds). 

So palpably gross and thick is the mist and fog which 
Satan hath raised about this scripture, that he that can but 
see men as trees in matters of God s worship, may easily 
discern what a wonderful deep sleep God s people are fallen 
into concerning the visible kingdom of Christ; insomuch 
that this third of Titus, which through fearful profanations 
hatli so many hundred years been the pretended bulwark 
and defence of all the bloody wolves, dens of lions, and 
mountains of leopards, hunting and devouring the wit 
nesses of Jesus, should now be the refuge and defence 
of (as I hope) the lambs and little ones of Jesus : yet, in 
this point, so preaching and practising so unlike to them 
selves, to the Lord Jesus, and lamentably too like to His 
and their persecutors. 


Peace. Bright Truth, since this place of Titus is such a 
pretended bulwark for persecuting of heretics, and under 
that pretence of persecuting all thy followers, I beseech 
you by the bright beams of the Sun of Righteousness, 
scatter these mists, and unfold these particulars out of the 
text : 

First. What this man is that is an heretic. 

Secondly. How this heretic is condemned of himself. 

Thirdly. What is this first and second admonition, and 
by whom it is supposed to be given. 

Fourthly. What is this rejecting of Him, and by whom 
it is supposed this rejection was to be made. 


what is Truth. First, what is this heretic? I find him com- 

meant by 

hentic in monly defined to be such an one as is obstinate in funda 
mentals, and so also I conceive the answerer seems to 
resent him, saying, that the apostle renders this reason 
why after once and twice admonition he ought to be per 
secuted; because in fundamental and principal points of 
doctrine and worship, the word of God is so clear, that the 
heretic cannot but be convinced in his own conscience. 

But of this reason, I find not one tittle mentioned in 
this scripture. For although he saith such an one is con 
demned of himself, yet he saith not, nor will it follow, that 
fundamentals are so clear, that after first and second 
admonition, a person that submits not to them is con 
demned of himself, any more than in lesser points. This 
eleventh verse hath reference to the former verses. Titus, 
an evangelist, a preacher of glad news, abiding here with 
the church of Christ at Crete, is required by Paul to 
avoid, to reject, and to teach the church to reject, gene 
alogies, disputes, and unprofitable questions about the law. 
Such a like charge it is as he gave to Timothy, left also 
an evangelist at Ephesus, 1 Tim. i. 4. 

If it should be objected, what is to be done to such 
contentious, vain strivers about genealogies and questions 
unprofitable? The apostle seems plainly to answer, Let 
him be once and twice admonished. 

Obj. Yea, but what if once and twice admonition prevail 

The apostle seems to answer, atptriKov avOpuwov ; and 
that is, the man that is wilfully obstinate after such once 
and twice admonition, reject him. 

With this scripture agrees that of 1 Tim. vi. 4, 5, where 
Timothy is commanded to withdraw himself from such 
who dote about questions and strifes of words. 

All which are points of a lower and inferior nature, not 


properly falling within the terms or notions of those 
(oroixi) fi rs t principles and (Sc/^Xtovc) foundations of 
the Christian profession, to wit, repentance from dead 
works, faith towards God, the doctrine of baptisms, and 
of laying on of hands, the resurrection, and eternal judg 
ment, Heb. vi. 2, &c. 

Concerning these fundamentals (although nothing is so 
little in the Christian worship, but may be referred to one 
of these six, yet) doth not Paul to Timothy or Titus 
speak in those places by me alleged, or of any of these, 
as may evidently appear by the context and scope. 

The beloved spouse of Christ is no receptacle for any 
filthy person, obstinate in any filthiness against the purity 
of the Lord Jesus, who hath commanded his people to 
purge out the old leaven, not only greater portions, but 
a little leaven which will leaven the whole lump ; and 
therefore this heretic, or obstinate person in these vain 
and unprofitable questions, was to be rejected, as well as 
if his obstinacy had been in greater matters. 

Again, if there were a door or window left open to vain 
and unprofitable questions, and sins of smaller nature, 
how apt are persons to cover [them] with a silken cover 
ing, and to say, Why, I am no heretic in fundamentals, 
spare me in this or that little one, this or that opinion or 
practice, these are of an inferior, circumstantial nature, &c. 

So the coherence with the former verses, and the scope 
of the Spirit of God in this and other like scriptures being 
carefullv observed, this Greek word heretic is no more in The word he - 

retic general- 
true English, and in truth, than an obstinate and wilful ly mistaken - 

person in the church of Crete, striving and contending 
about those unprofitable questions and genealogies, &c. ; 
and [it] is not such a monster intended in this place, as 
most interpreters run upon, to wit, one obstinate in funda 
mentals, and, as the answerer makes the apostle to write, 


in such fundamentals and principal points, wherein the 
word of God is so clear that a man cannot but be con 
vinced in conscience, and therefore is not persecuted for 
matter of conscience, but for sinning against his conscience. 


Peace. Now, in the second place, what is this self- 
condemnation ? 

Truth. The apostle seemeth to make this a ground of 
the rejecting of such a person because he is subverted 
and sinneth, being condemned of himself. It will appear 
upon due search, that this self-condemning is not here 
intended to be in heretics (as men say) in fundamentals 
only; but, as it is meant here, in men obstinate in the 
lesser questions, &c. 

First, he is subverted, or turned crooked, l^r^airrai, a 
word opposite to straightness, or rightness. So that the 
scope is, as I conceive upon true and faithful admonition 
once or twice, the pride of heart, or heat of wrath, draws 
a veil over the eyes and heart, so that the soul is turned 
off or loosed from the checks of truth. 

Secondly, he sinneth, a^imprava; that is, being sub 
verted, or turned aside, he sinneth, or wanders from the 
path of truth, and is condemned by himself, auro/cara- 
icptroe; that is, by the secret checks and whisperings of 
his own conscience, which will take God s part against a 
man s self, in smiting, accusing, &c. 
checks of Which checks of conscience we find even in God s own 


dear people, as is most admirably opened in the fifth of 
Canticles, in those sad, drowsy, and unkind passages of 
the spouse, in her answer to the knocks and calls of the 


Lord Jesus ; which God s people, in all their awakenings, 
acknowledge how slightly they have listened to the checks 
of their own consciences. This the answerer pleaseth to 
call sinning against his conscience, for which he may law 
fully be persecuted: to wit, for sinning against his con 

Which conclusion though painted over with the ver- 
milioii of mistaken scripture, and that old dream of Jew 
and Gentile that the crown of Jesus will consist of out 
ward material gold, and his sword be made of iron or 
steel, executing judgment in his church and kingdom by 
corporal punishment I hope, by the assistance of the 
Lord Jesus, to manifest it to be the overturning and 
rooting up the very foundations and roots of all true 
Christianity, and absolutely denying the Lord Jesus, the 
great anointed, to be yet come in the flesh. 


This will appear, if we examine the two last queries of 
this place of Titus ; to wit, 

First. What this admonition is ? 

Secondly. What is the rejection here intended ? Reject 

First, then, Titus, unto whom this epistle and these 
directions were written, and in him to all that succeed him 
in the like work of the gospel to the world s end, was no 
minister of the civil state, armed with the majesty and 
terror of a material sword, who might for offences against 
the civil state inflict punishments upon the bodies of men 
by imprisonments, whippings, fines, banishment, death. 
Titus was a minister of the gospel, or glad tidings, armed 


only with the spiritual sword of the word of God, and 
[with] such spiritual weapons as (yet) through God were 
mighty to the casting down of strongholds,, yea, every 
high thought of the highest head and heart in the world, 
2 Cor. x. 4. 

what is the Therefore, these first and second admonitions were not 
cond a admo- civil or corporal punishments on men s persons or purses, 
which courts of men may lawfully inflict upon malefactors ; 
but they were the reprehensions, convictions, exhortations, 
and persuasions of the word of the eternal God, charged 
home to the conscience in the name and presence of the 
Lord Jesus, in the midst of the church. Which being 
despised and not hearkened to, in the last place follows 
rejection; which is not a cutting off by heading, hanging, 
burning, &c., or an expelling of the country and coasts ; 
neither [of] which (no, nor any lesser civil punishment) 
Titus, nor the church at Crete, had any power to exercise. 
what the re- But it was that dreadful cutting off from that visible head 


heretic was. an( j body, Christ Jesus and his church ; that purging out 

of the old leaven from the lump of the saints ; the putting 

away of the evil and wicked person from the holy land 

and commonwealth of God s Israel, 1 Cor. v. [6, 7.] 2 

Where it is observable, that the same word used by 

Hn lp 7 n al the Moses for putting a malefactor to death, in typical Israel, 

o a uT Ep&tu2 by sword, stoning, &c., Deut. xiii. 5, is here used by Paul 

exSmu ni- for the spiritual killing, or cutting off by excommunication, 

cation, in the _ ^ -i o T- . .7 j ? o 

gospel. 1 Cor. v. 13, Put away that evil person, &c. 

2 [" In alleging that place, I in- xxxv. 6 Sure it is the Lord 

tended no other persecution, but the Jesus accounteth it a persecution to 

church s against such an heretic by his disciples, to be delivered up into 

excommunication Verily ex- the synagogues, and to be cast forth 

communication is a persecution, and out of the synagogues, Luke xxi. 12, 

a lawful persecution, if the cause be with John xvi. 2." Cotton s Reply, 

just offence; as the angel of the Lord p. 32.] 
is said to persecute the wicked, Psal. 


Now, I desire the answerer, and any, in the holy awe 
and fear of God, to consider, that 

From whom the first and second admonition was to 
proceed, from them also was the rejecting or casting out 
to proceed, as before. But not from the civil magistrate, 
to whom Paul writes not this epistle, and who also is not 
bound once and twice to admonish, but may speedily 
punish, as he sees cause, the persons or purses of delin 
quents against his civil state ; but from Titus, the minister 
or angel of the church, and from the church with him, 
were these first and second admonitions to proceed. 

And, therefore, at last also, this rejecting : which can be 
no other but a casting out, or excommunicating of him 
from their church society. 

Indeed, this rejecting is no other than that avoiding 
which Paul writes of to the church of Christ at Rome, 
Rom. xvi. 1 7 ; which avoiding, however wofully perverted 
by some to prove persecution, belonged to the governors 
of Christ s church and kingdom in Rome, and not to the 
Roman emperor, for him to rid and avoid the world of 
them by bloody and cruel persecution. 


Peace. The third conclusion is in points of lesser The , thi . rd 


moment there ought to be a toleration. 

Which though I acknowledge to be the truth of God, 
yet three things are very observable in the manner of 

%in it down : for Satan useth excellent arrows to bad Satan s po 

marks, and sometimes beyond the intent, and hidden from 
the eye of the archer. 

First, saith he, such a person is to be tolerated till God The answer 
er granteth a 

may be pleased to reveal his truth to him. toleration. 


Patience to Truth. This is well observed by you : for indeed this is 

be used to 
ward the op- the very ground why the apostle calls for meekness and 

gentleness toward all men, and toward such as oppose 
themselves, 2 Tim. ii. [25] ; because there is a peradven- 
ture, or it may be ; "It may be, God may give them 
repentance" That God that hath shown mercy to one, 
may show mercy to another. It may be, that eyesalve 
that anointed one man s eye who was blind and opposite, 
may another as blind and opposite. He that hath given 
repentance to the husband, may give it to his wife, &c. 

Hence the soul that is lively and sensible of mercy 
received to itself in former blindness, opposition, and 
enmity against God, cannot but be patient and gentle 
and opposi- toward the Jews, who yet deny the Lord Jesus to be 
come, and justify their forefathers in murdering of him : 
toward the Turks, who acknowledge Christ a great pro 
phet, yet less than Mahomet : yea, to all the several sorts 
of anti-christians, who set up many a false Christ instead 
of him : and, lastly, to the pagans, and wildest sorts of the 
sons of men, who have not yet heard of the Father, nor 
the Son: and to all these^ sorts, Jews, Turks, anti- 
christians, pagans, when they oppose the light presented 
to them, in the sense of its own former opposition, and 
that God peradventure may at last give repentance. I 
add, such a soul will not only be patient, but earnestly 
and constantly pray for all sorts of men, that out of them 
God s elect may be called to the fellowship of Christ 
Jesus; and, lastly, not only pray, but endeavour, to its 
utmost ability, their participation of the same grace and 
mercy. 3 

3 [" And for the civil state, we err in fundamentals. No, nor would 

know no ground they have to perse- I exempt anti-christians neither from 

cute Jews, or Turks, or other pagans, toleration, notwithstanding their funda- 

for cause of religion, though they all mental errors, unless after conviction 


That great rock upon which so many gallant ships mis 
carry, viz., that such persons, false prophets, heretics, &c., 
were to be put to death in Israel, I shall, with God s 
assistance, remove. As also that fine silken covering of 
the image, viz., that such persons ought to be put to 
death, or banished, to prevent the infecting and seducing 
of others, I shall, with God s assistance, in the following 
discourse pluck off. 

- Secondly, I observe from the scriptures he quoteth for The answer- 
this toleratiori, Phil. iii. [171, and Rom. xiv. [~1 41, how the churches 

in Philippi 

closely, yet I hope unadvisedly, he makes the churches of ^ h 

Christ at Philippi and Rome all one with the cities J 
Philippi and Rome, in which the churches were, and to 
whom only Paul wrote. As if what these churches in 
Philippi and Rome must tolerate amongst themselves, 
that the cities Philippi and Rome must tolerate in their 
citizens : and what these churches must not tolerate, that 
these ckies, Philippi and Rome, must not tolerate within 
the compass of the city, state, and jurisdiction. 

Truth. Upon that ground, by undeniable consequence, 
these cities, Philippi and Rome, were bound not to tolerate 
themselves, that is, the cities and citizens of Philippi and 
Rome, in their own civil life and being ; but must kill or 
expel themselves from their own cities, as being idolatrous 
worshippers of other gods than the true God in Jesus 

But as the lily is amongst the thorns, so is Christ s Difference 

J between the 

love among the daughters ; and as the apple-tree among ?Jj urch and 
the trees of the forest, so is her beloved among the sons ; 

they still continue to seduce simple tious conspiracies against the lives 

souls into their damnable and per- and states of such princes as will not 

nicious heresies: as into the worship submit their consciences to the bishop 

of false gods, into confidence of their of Rome." Cotton s Reply, p. 33.] 
own merits for justification, into sedi- 



so great a difference is there between the church in a 
city or country, and the civil state, city, or country in 
which it is. 

No less then (as David in another case, Ps. ciii. [11], 
as far as the heavens are from the earth) are they that are 
truly Christ s (that is, anointed truly with the Spirit of 
Christ) [different] from many thousands who love not the 
Lord Jesus Christ, and yet are and must be permitted in 
the world, or civil state, although they [i. e., the world, 
&c.] have no right to enter into the gates of Jerusalem, 
the church of God. 
The church And this is the more carefully to be minded, because 

and civil 1 . 

state confu- whenever a toleration ot others religion and conscience is 

seclly made 

aii one. pleaded for, such as are (I hope in truth) zealous for God, 
readily produce plenty of scriptures written to the church, 
both before and since Christ s coming, all commanding 
and pressing the putting forth of the unclean, the cutting 
off the obstinate, the purging out the leaven, rejecting of 
heretics. As if because briars, thorns, and thistles may 
not be in the garden of the church, therefore they must 
all be plucked up out of the wilderness. Whereas he 
that is a briar, that is, a Jew, a Turk, a pagan, an anti- 
christian, to-day, may be, when the word of the Lord 
runs freely, a member of Jesus Christ to-morrow, cut out 
of the wild olive and planted into the true. 

persecutors Peace. Thirdly, from this toleration of persons but 
tenuJbfw- holding lesser errors, I observe the unmercifulness of 

sadness pro- . 

mised to the g ucn doctrines and hearts, as if they had forgotten the 


Matt. v. [7.] blessedness ; Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain 
mercy, Matt. v. [7.] He that is slightly and but a little 
hurt, shall be suffered, and means vouchsafed for his cure. 
But the deep wounded sinners, and leprous, ulcerous, and 
those of bloody issues twelve years together, and those 
which have been bowed down thirty-eight years of their 


life, they must not be suffered, until peradventure God 
may give them repentance. But either it is not lawful 
for a godly magistrate to rule and govern such a people, 
as some have said, or else if they be under government, 
and reform not to the state religion after the first and 
second admonition, the civil magistrate is bound to per 
secute, &c. 

Truth. Such persons have need, as Paul to the Romans, 
chap. xii. 1, to be besought by the mercy of God to put on 
bowels of mercy toward such as have neither wronged 
them in body nor goods, and therefore justly should not be 
punished in their goods or persons. 


Peace. I shall now trouble you, dear Truth, but with 
one conclusion more, which is this, viz., that if a man hold 
forth error with a boisterous and arrogant spirit, to the dis- 
turbanceof the civil peace, he ought to be punished, &c. 

Truth. To this I have spoken to, confessing that if any 
man commit aught of those things which Paul was accused 
of, Acts xxv. 11, he ought not to be spared, yea, he ought 
not, as Paul saith, in such cases to refuse to die. 

But if the matter be of another nature, a spiritual and what per - 
divine nature, I have written before in many cases, and 5t/5 

. , 1.1-1 breach of 

might in many more, that the worship which a state pro- civil peace. 
fesseth may be contradicted and preached against, and yet 
no breach of civil peace. And if a breach follow, it is not 
made by such doctrines, but by the boisterous and violent 
opposers of them. 

Such persons only break the city s or kingdom s peace, The most 


who cry out for prison and swords against such who cross wrongfully 

F 2 


acbrek their judgment or practice in religion. For as Joseph s 
ing> mistress accused Joseph of uncleanness, and calls out for 

civil violence against him, when Joseph was chaste and 
herself guilty, so, commonly,, the meek and peaceable of 
the earth are traduced as rebels, factious, peace-breakers, 
although they deal not with the state or state matters, but 
matters of divine and spiritual nature, when their traducers 
are the only unpeaceable, and guilty of breach of civil 
peace. 4 

Peace. We are now come to the second part of the 
answer, which is a particular examination of such grounds 
as are brought against such persecution. 

The first sort of grounds are from the scriptures. 


The exami- First, Matt. xiii. 30, 38, " Because Christ commandeth 
wtous * to let alone the tares to grow up together with the wheat, 

meant by the ., . , 

tares and the Until the harvest. 

command of 

the Lord Unto which he answereth : " That tares are not briars 

Jesus to let 

them alone. and t } lorn g 3 but partly hypocrites, like unto the godly, but 
indeed carnal, as the tares are like to wheat, but are not 
wheat ; or partly such corrupt doctrines or practices as 
are indeed unsound, but yet such as come very near the 
truth (as tares do to the wheat), and so near, that good 
men may be taken with them; and so the persons in 
whom they grow cannot be rooted out but good w^heat 
will be rooted out with them. In such a case," saith he, 

* ["This is too vast an hyperbole: dom s peace at all; but they only 

as if murderers, seditious persons, who are too sharp against corruptions 

rebels, traitors, were none of them in religion. Cotton s Reply, p. 36.] 
such as did break the city s or king- 

" Christ calleth for peaceable toleration, and not for penal 
prosecution, according to the third conclusion." 

Truth. The substance of this answer I conceive to be, J r ^ f ^, s a wer " 
first, negative; that by tares are not meant persons ofSSSiftSt 
another religion and worship, that is, saith he, " they are either S pl?- fy 

sons, doc- 

not briars and thorns. trines, or 


Secondly, affirmative ; by tares are meant either per 
sons or doctrines, or practices; persons, as hypocrites, 
like the godly ; doctrines or practices corrupt, yet like 
the truth. 

For answer hereunto, I confess that not only those 
worthy witnesses, whose memories are sweet with all that 
fear God, Calvin, Beza, &c., but of later times many 
conjoin with this worthy answerer, to satisfy themselves 
and others with such an interpretation. 

But, alas ! how dark is the soul left that desires to walk The answer- 

er barely af- 

with God in holy fear and trembling, when in such a 
weighty and mighty point as this is, that in matters of 
conscience concerneth the spilling of the blood of thou 
sands, and the civil peace of the world in the taking up 
arms to suppress all false religions ! when, I say, no 
evidence, or demonstration of the Spirit, is brought to 
prove such an interpretation, nor arguments from the 
place itself or the scriptures of truth to confirm it ; but a 
bare affirmation that these tares must signify persons, or 
doctrines and practices. 

I will not imagine any deceitful purpose in the an- satan-s snb- 

r tlety about 

swerer s thoughts in the proposal of these three persons, ^ e opening 
doctrines, or practices; yet dare I confidently avouch, 
that the old serpent hath deceived his precious soul, and 
by tongue and pen would deceive the souls of others by 
such a method of dividing the word of truth. A threefold 
cord, and so a threefold snare, is strong ; and too like it is 


that one of the three, either persons, doctrines, or practices, 
may catch some feet. 5 


Peace. The place then being of such importance as 
concerning the truth of God, the blood of thousands, 
yea, the blood of saints, and of the Lord Jesus in them, 
I shall request your more diligent search, by the Lord s 
holy assistance, into this scripture. 

[ Truth. ] I shall make it evident, that by these tares in 
this parable are meant persons in respect of their religion 
and way of worship, open and visible professors, as bad 
as briars and thorns ; not only suspected foxes, but as bad 
as those greedy wolves which Paul speaks of, Acts xx. 
[29], who with perverse and evil doctrines labour spiritu 
ally to devour the flock, and to draw away disciples after 
them, whose mouths must be stopped, and yet no carnal 
force and weapon to be used against them; but their 
mischief to be resisted with those mighty weapons of the 
holy armoury of the Lord Jesus, wherein there hangs a 
thousand shields, Cant. iv. [4.] 

That the Lord Jesus intendeth not doctrines, or prac 
tices, by the tares in this parable, is clear ; for, 

First, the Lord Jesus expressly interpreteth the good 

5 ["What hurt do they get by tolerated to the end of the world? 

being caught ? Hypocrites, and cor- But I acknowledge that by tares 

rupt doctrines and practices, if they are meant such kind of evil persons 

be found like unto good Christians, as are like unto the good." Cotton s 

or sound truths, what hurt do they Reply, p. 37.] 
catch when I say such are to be 


seed to be persons, and those the children of the kingdom ; 
and the tares also to signify men, and those the children 
of the wicked one, ver. 38. 6 

Secondly, such corrupt doctrines or practices are not to 
be tolerated now, as those Jewish observations, the Lord s Toleration 
own ordinances, were for a while to be permitted, Rom. omsideraiT 
xiv. Nor so long as till the angels, the reapers, come to 
reap the harvest in the end of the world. For can we 
think, that because the tender consciences of the Jews 
were to be tendered in their differences of meats, that 
therefore persons must now be tolerated in the church Toleration of 
(for I speak not of the civil state), and that to the world s monies, for 
end, in superstitious forbearing and forbidding of flesh in s e nds . 
popish Lents, and superstitious Fridays, &c.; and that 
because they were to be tendered in their observation 
Jewish holidays, that therefore until the harvest, 

. tian ceremo- 

worlds end, persons must now be tolerated (I mean m ni esinthe 


the church) in the observation of popish Christmas, jj^ch, _ai- 
Easter, Whitsuntide, and other superstitious popish festi- the state 

I willingly acknowledge, that if the members of a 
church of Christ shall upon some delusion of Satan kneel 
at the Lord s supper, keep Christmas, or any other popish 
observation, great tenderness ought to be used in winning 
his soul from the error of his way ; and yet I see not that 
persons so practising were fit to be received into the 
churches of Christ now, as the Jews, weak in the faith, that 
is, in the liberties of Christ, were to be received, Horn. xiv. 1. 

["If the Discusser had cast his stick upon that at all. Let the tares 

eye a little lower, he might have be persons, whether hypocrites, like 

found that Christ interpreteth the unto true Christians, or holders forth 

tares not only to be persons, but of scandalous and corrupt doctrines 

things, Tcavra ~a (ncavdaXa, all and practices like unto sound." Cot- 

things that offend, as well as those ton s Reply, p. 38.] 
that do iniquity. But I shall not 


And least of all (as before) that the toleration or permis 
sion of such ought to continue till doomsday, or the end 
of the world, as this parable urgeth the toleration : Let 
them alone until the harvest. 


Again, hypocrites were not intended by the Lord Jesus 
in this famous parable. 

nottosjgnffy First, the original word tavm, signifying all those 
hypocrites. wee( J s w hich spring up with the corn, as cockle, darnel, 
tares, &c., seems to imply such a kind of people as com 
monly and generally are known to be manifestly different 
from, and opposite to, the true worshippers of God, here 
called the children of the kingdom : as these weeds, tares, 
cockle, darnel, &c., are commonly and presently known 
by every husbandman to differ from the wheat, and to be 
opposite, and contrary, and hurtful unto it. 7 

Now whereas it is pleaded that these tares are like the 
wheat, and so like that this consimilitude, or likeness, is 
made the ground of this interpretation, viz., that tares 
must needs signify hypocrites, or doctrines, or practices, 
who are like God s children, truth, &c. : 

I answer, first, the parable holds forth no such thing, 
that the likeness of the tares should deceive the servants 
to cause them to suppose for a time that they were good 
wheat ; but that as soon as ever the tares appeared, ver. 

7 Hence were the witnesses of barrenness: Infelix lolium et steriles 

Christ, Wickliff and others, in Henry dominantur avense. Others conceive 

the Fourth s reign, called Lollards, as they were so called from one Lollard, 

some say, from Lolia, weeds known &c.; but all papists accounted them 

well enough, hence taken for sign of as tares because of their profession. 


26, the servants came to the householder about them, ver. 

27. The scripture holds forth no such time wherein they 
doubted or suspected what they were. 

Peace. It may be said they did not appear to be tares 
until the corn was in the blade, and put forth its fruit. 

Truth. I answer, the one appeared as soon as the other; The false 

and counter- 

for so the word clearly carries it, that seed of both ^ chris - 

tians appear 

having been sown, when the wheat appeared and put theTJe^nd 
forth its blade and fruit, the tares also were as early, fal 
and put forth themselves, or appeared also. 

Secondly, there is such a dissimilitude, or unlikeness, I 
say such a dissimilitude, that as soon as the tares, and 
wheat are sprung up to blade and fruit, every husband 
man can tell which is wheat, and which are tares and 
cockle, &c. 

Peace. It may be said, True : so when the hypocrite is 
manifested, then all may know him, &c. ; but before 
hypocrites be manifested by fruits they are unknown. 

I answer: search into the parable, and ask when was 
it that the servants first complained of the tares to the 
householder, but when they appeared or came in sight^ 
there being no interim, wherein the servants could not 
tell what to make of them, but doubted whether they 
were wheat or tares, as the answerer implies. 

Secondly, when was it that the householder gave charge 
to let them alone, but after that they appeared, and were 
known to be tares ; which should imply by this interpre 
tation of the answerer, that when men are discovered and TT 


known to be hypocrites, yet, still such a generation of Christians - 
hypocrites in the church must be let alone and tolerated 
until the harvest, or end of the world ; which is contrary 
to all order, piety, and safety, in the church of the Lord 
Jesus, as doubtless the answerer will grant. So that these 
tares being notoriously known to be different from the 



corn, I conclude that they cannot here be intended by the 
Lord Jesus to signify secret hypocrites, but more open 
and apparent sinners. 8 

The tares 
cannot sig 
nify hypo 

Two sorts of 
1. In the 
church, as 
Judas, Si 
mon Magus ; 
and these 
must be to 
lerated until 
and no 
longer. 2. 
in the world, 
which are 
false Chris 
tians, false 
churches ; 
and these 
the Lord 
Jesus will 
have let 
alone unto 


The second reason why these tares cannot signify hypo 
crites in the church, I take from the Lord Jesus s own 
interpretation of the field, in which both wheat and tares 
are sown, which, saith he, 25 the world, out of which God 
chooseth and calleth his church. 

The world lies in wickedness, is like a wilderness, or a 
sea of wild beasts innumerable, fornicators, covetous, idol 
aters, &c.; with whom God s people may lawfully converse 
and cohabit in cities, towns, &c., else must they not live 
in the world, but go out of it. In which world, as soon 
as ever the Lord Jesus had sown the good seed, the 
children of the kingdom, true Christianity, or the true 
church, the enemy, Satan, presently, in the night of 
security, ignorance, and error, ivhilst men slept, sowed also 
these tares, which are anti-christians, or false Christians. 
These strange professors of the name of Jesus the minis 
ters and prophets of God beholding, they are ready to run 
to heaven to fetch fiery judgments from thence to consume 

8 ["It is not true that 
signifieth all those weeds that grow 
up with the corn. For they be a 
special weed, growing up chiefly 
amongst the wheat, more like to 
barley. . . . Neither is it true, that 
tares are commonly and generally 

known as soon as they appear 

Yea, the servants of the husbandman 

did not discern the tares from the 
wheat, till the blade was sprung up, 
and brought forth fruit. It is like 
enough, they did not suspect them at 
all by reason of the great likeness 
that was between them whilst they 
were both in the blade." Cotton s 
Reply, p. 40.] 


these strange Christians, and to pluck them by the roots 
out of the world. But the Son of man, the meek Lamb 
of God for the elect s sake which must be gathered out 
of Jew and Gentile, pagan, anti-christian commands a 
permission of them in the world, until the time of the end 
of the world, when the goats and sheep, the tares and 
wheat, shall be eternally separated each from other. 

Peace. You know some excellent worthies, dead and The field b ? 

most, gene- 

living, have laboured to turn this field of the world into 
the garden of the church.9 

Truth. But who can imagine that the wisdom of the 
Father, the Lord Jesus Christ, 1 would so open this 
parable, as he professedly doth, as that it should be closer 
shut up, and that one difficulty or lock should be opened 
by a greater and harder, in calling the world the church ? 01 
Contrary also to the way of the light and love that is in 
Jesus, when he would purposely teach and instruct his 
scholars; contrary to the nature of parables and similitudes; 
and lastly, to the nature of the church or garden of Christ. 

9 [" 1 . It is true, Christ expound- will put it into the hearts of faithful 

eth the field to be the world; but he princes, in fulness of time, to hate the 

meant not the wide world, but, by an whore, to leave her desolate and 

usual trope, the church scattered naked, &c. Rev. xvii. 16, 17." Cot- 

throughout the world 2. If ton s Reply, pp. 41,42.] 

the field should be the world, and l [" It is no impeachment to the 

the tares anti-christians and false wisdom of Christ to call his elect 

Christians: it is true, Satan sowed churches and saints throughout the 

them in God s field, but he sowed world, by the name of the world. . ., . 

them in the church 3. It is It is no more an improper speech, to 

not the will of Christ, that anti-christ call the church the world, than to 

and anti-christians, and anti-christian- speak of Christ as dying for the world, 

ity, should be tolerated in the world, when he died for his church." Ib. 

until the end of the world. For God p. 43.] 



The scope In the former parable, the Lord Jesus compared the 

of the para- . 

ble - " kingdom of heaven to the sowing of seed. The true 
Four sorts of messengers of Christ are the sowers, who cast the seed of 
fearers f r the word of the kingdom upon four sorts of ground. 

the word, in 

the world, Which four sorts of ground, or hearts of men, cannot be 

and but one 

*. supposed to be of the church, nor will it ever be proved 
that the church consisteth of any more sorts or natures of 

aiiy, C to hear ground properly but one, to wit, the honest and good ground. 
the church, And the proper work of the church concerns the flourish- 

which word 

ought to be ing and prosperity of this sort of ground, and not the 

fitted for the r i J 

ther unconverted three sorts ; who, it may be, seldom or 
never come near the church, unless they be forced by the 
civil sword, which the pattern or first sower never used ; 

perly out of 

the church, and being forced, they are put into a way of religion by 
such a course if not so, they are forced to live without a 
religion : for one of the two must necessarily follow, as I 
shall prove afterward. 

In the field of the world, then, are all those sorts of 
ground : highway hearers, stony and thorny ground hear 
ers, as well as the honest and good ground ; and I suppose 
it will not now be said by the answerer, that those three 
sorts of bad grounds were hypocrites, or tares, in the 
church. 2 

2 [" 1. Did not Christ preacli and give occasion of rejection, then they 

sow the seed of the word to all those growing up to years become some of 

four sorts of hearers? And yet he them like the highway side, others 

was the minister of the circumcision, like the stony, &c ..... 3. It is 

and preached seldom to any, but to the work of the church to seek the 

church members, members of the changing of the bad into the good 

church of Israel ..... 2. If the ground. For is it not the proper 

children of church members be in the work of the church, to bring on the 

church, and of the church, till they children to become the sincere people 



Now after the Lord Jesus had propounded that great ^ 
leading parable of the sower and the seed, he is pleased to of the tares 
propound this parable of the tares, with admirable co 
herence and sweet consolation to the honest and good 
ground; who, with glad and honest hearts, having re 
ceived the word of the kingdom, may yet seem to be 
discouraged and troubled with so many anti-christians and 
false professors of the name of Christ. 

The Lord Jesus, therefore, gives direction concerning 
these tares, that unto the end of the world, successively in 
all the sorts and generations of them, they must be (not 
approved or countenanced, but) let alone, or permitted in 
the world. 

Secondly, he gives to his own good seed this consolation : The Lf rd 
that those heavenly reapers, the angels, in the harvest, or 
end of the world, will take an order and course with them, 

to wit, they shall bind them into bundles, and cast them consolation 

. . to his ser- 

mto the everlasting burnings; and to make the cup of vants - 
their consolation run over, he adds, ver. 43, Then, then at 
that time, shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the 
kingdom of their Father. 

These tares, then, neither being erroneous doctrines, The tares 
nor corrupt practices, nor hypocrites, in the true church, pJ?t> P 5. 
intended by the Lord Jesus in this parable, I shall, in the Christians. 
third place, by the help of the same Lord Jesus, evidently 
prove that these tares can be no other sort of sinners but 
false worshippers, idolaters, and in particular [and] pro 
perly, anti-christians. 

of God ? . . . 4. There is not such 
resemblance between highway-side 
ground and good ground, as is be 
tween tares and wheat. Nor would 

the servants ever ask the question, 
whether they should pluck up weeds 
out of the highway-side, &c." Cot 
ton s Reply, pp. 44, 45.] 



First, then, these tares are such sinners as are opposite 

and contrary to the children of the kingdom, visibly so 

declared and manifest, ver. 38. 3 Now the kingdom of 

Matt.viii.i2. Q O( J below is the visible church of Christ Jesus, according 

domon k la?th to Matt. viii. 12. The children of the kingdom, which 
chm v ch. ible are threatened to be cast out, seem to be the Jews, which 
were then the only visible church in covenant with the 
Lord, when all other nations followed other gods and 
worships. And more plain is that fearful threatening, 
Matt. xxi. 43, The kingdom of God shall be taken from 
you, and given to a nation that will bring forth the fruits 

Such, then, are the good seed, good wheat, children 
f ^ e kingdom, as are the disciples, members, and sub- 

url!asai so j ects OI> the Lord Jesus Christ, his church and kingdom: 
these tares and therefore, consequently, such are the tares, as are 

and all other. .,, -, . i 

opposite to these, idolaters, will-worshippers, not truly 
but falsely submitting to Jesus : and in especial, the 
children of the wicked one, visibly so appearing. Which 
wicked one I take not to be the devil; for the Lord 
Jesus seems to make them distinct : He that sows the good 
seed, saith he, is the Son of man; the field is the world; the 
good seed are the children of the kingdom ; but the tares are 
the children of the wicked, or wickedness ; the enemy that 
soweth them is the devil. 

The original here rov irov^oov, agrees with that, Luke 

3 ["1. These tares are not such 2. The tares were not discerned at 

sinners as are contrary to the chil- first till the blade was sprung up, and 

dren of the kingdom ; for then none brought forth fruit." Cotton s Reply, 

should be opposite to them but they. p. 45.] 


xi. 4, Deliver us O.TTO rou irovripov^rom evil, or wickedness ; 
opposite to the children of the kingdom and the righteous 
ness thereof. 


Peace. It is true, that all drunkards, thieves, unclean 
persons, c., are opposite to God s children. 

Truth. Answ. Their opposition here against the chil 
dren of the kingdom, is such an opposition as properly 
fights against the religious state, or worship, of the Lord 
Jesus Christ. 

Secondly, it is manifest that the Lord Jesus in this 
parable intends no other sort of sinners: unto whom he 
saith, Let them alone, in church or state; for then he 
should contradict other holy and blessed ordinances for 
the punishment of offenders, both in Christian and civil 

First, in civil state. From the beginning of the world, civil magis 
God hath armed fathers, masters, magistrates, to punish the be s in - 

ning of the 

evil doers; that is, such, of whose actions fathers, masters, world - 
magistrates are to judge, and accordingly to punish such 
sinners as transgress against the good and peace of their 
civil state, families, towns, cities, kingdoms their states, 
governments, governors, laws, punishments, and weapons 
being all of a civil nature ; and therefore neither dis 
obedience to parents or magistrates, nor murder, nor offenders 
quarrelling, uncleanness, nor lasciviousness, stealing nor civil laws 
extortion, neither aught of that kind ought to be let alone, perpetually 

5 tolerated. 

either in lesser or greater families, towns, cities, kingdoms, 
Rom. xiii.; but seasonably to be suppressed, as may best 
conduce to the public safety. 


Nor offend- Again, secondly, in the kingdom of Christ Jesus, whose 

Christ Jesus kingdom, officers, laws, punishments, weapons, are spirit- 

fered. suf " ual and of a soul nature, he will not have anti-christian 

idolaters, extortioners, covetous, &c., to be let alone ; but 

the unclean and lepers to be thrust forth, the old leaven 

purged out, the obstinate in sin spiritually stoned to death, 

and put away from Israel; and this by many degrees of 

gentle admonition in private and public, as the case 


Therefore, if neither offenders against the civil laws, 
state, and peace ought to be let alone ; nor the spiritual 
estate, the church of Jesus Christ, ought to bear with 
them that are evil, Rev. ii. 2, I conclude that these are 
sinners of another nature idolaters, false worshippers, 
anti-christians, who without discouragement to true Chris 
tians must be let alone, and permitted in the world to 
grow and fill up the measure of their sins, after the image 
of him that hath sown them, until the great harvest shall 
make the difference. 4 


The great Thirdly, in that the officers, unto whom these tares 

reapers are * , 

tne angeis. are referred, are the angels, the heavenly reapers at the 

* ["Neither is it true that anti-chris- anti-christian persons, out of zeal to 
tians are to be let alone by the ordi- the catholic cause, and out of con- 
nance of Christ, till the end of the science to the command of their su- 
world. For what if the members of periors, should seek to destroy the 
a Christian church shall some of them king and parliament, should such an 
apostate to anti-christian superstition one by any ordinance of Christ be let 
and idolatry, doth the ordinance of alone in the civil state?" Cotton s 
Christ bind the hands of the church to Reply, p. 47.] 
let them alone ? Besides, what if any 


last day, it is clear as the light that, as before, these tares 
cannot signify hypocrites in the church ; who, when they 
are discovered and seen to be tares, opposite to the good 
fruit of the good seed, are not to be let alone to the angels 
at harvest, or end of the world, but purged out by the 
governors of the church, and the whole church of Christ. 5 
Again, they cannot be offenders against the civil state and 
common welfare, whose dealing with is not suspended 
unto the coming of the angels, but [permitted] unto men, 
who, although they know not the Lord Jesus Christ, yet 
are lawful governors and rulers in civil things. 

Accordingly, in the fourth and last place, in that the 
plucking up of these tares out of this field must be let 
alone unto the very harvest or end of the world, it is 
apparent from thence, that, as before, they could not 
signify hypocrites in the church, who, when they are 
discovered to be so, as these tares were discovered to be 
tares, are not to be suffered, after the first and second 
admonition, but to be rejected, and every brother that 
walketh disorderly to be withdrawn or separated from. 6 
So likewise no offender against the civil state, by robbery, 
murder, adultery, oppression, sedition, mutiny, is for ever 
to be connived at, and to enjoy a perpetual toleration 
unto the world s end, as these tares must. 

Moses for a while held his peace asrainst the sedition Th e tares to 

be tolerated 

of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram. David for a season 
tolerated Shimei, Joab, Adonijah. But till the harvest, 

5 [" Let it be again denied, that garden, who sometimes lose their fat- 

hypocrites, when they appear to be ness and sweetness for a season." 

hypocrites, are to be purged out by Cotton s Reply, p. 48.] 

the government of the church. Other- 6 [" Not every hypocrite, but only 

wise they may soon root out, some- such, who either walk inordinately 

time or other, the best wheat in God s without a calling, or idly and negli- 

field, and the sweetest flowers in the gently in his calling." Ib. p. 49.] 


or end of the world, the Lord never intended that any but 
these spiritual and mystical tares should be so permitted. 


The danger Truth. Now if any imagine that the time or date is 

of infection . 

by these loner, that in the mean season they may do a world 01 

tares as- . . 

soiled. mischief before the world s end, as by infection, &c. 
Lamentable First, I answer, that as the civil state keeps itself with 


this truTo? a c i y il guard, in case these tares shall attempt aught 
Europe, and against the peace and welfare of it let such civil offences 

SwTtoiSl be punished ; and yet, as tares opposite to Christ s king- 
slaughter of . . ,. 
some hun- dom, let their worship and consciences be tolerated. 6 


Secondly, the church, or spiritual state, city, or king 
dom, hath laws, and orders, and armories, whereon there 
hang a thousand bucklers., Cant. iv. 4, weapons and ammu 
nition, able to break down the strongest holds, 2 Cor. x. 
4, and so to defend itself against the very gates of earth 
or hell.? 

Thirdly, the Lord himself knows who are his, and his 
foundation remaineth sure; his elect or chosen cannot 
perish nor be finally deceived. 8 

Lastly, the Lord Jesus here, in this parable, lays down 
two reasons, able to content and satisfy our hearts to bear 

6 [" But what if their worship and leaven the whole lump ? How then 
consciences incite them to civil of- is the safety of the church guarded ?" 
fences ? How shall then the civil Ib. p. 50.] 

state keep itself safe with a civil 8 ["The elect of God shall be 

sword 1" Cotton s Reply, p. 50.] saved: but yet if idolaters and se- 

7 [" But if their members be lea- ducers be tolerated the church will 
vened with anti-christian idolatry and stand guilty before God of the seduc- 
superstition, and yet must be tolerated tion and corruption of the people of 
will not a little leaven, so tolerated, God." Ib. p. 50.] 


patiently this their contradiction and anti-christianity, and 
to permit or let them alone. 

First, lest the good wheat be plucked up and rooted up 
also out of this field of the world. If such combustions 
and fightings were as to pluck up all the false professors 
of the name of Christ, the good wheat also would enjoy 
little peace, but be in danger to be plucked up and torn 
out of this world by such bloody storms and tempests. 9 

And, therefore, as God s people are commanded, Jer. 
xxix. 7, to pray for the peace of material Babel, wherein 
they were captivated, and 1 Tim. ii. 1,2, to pray for all men, 
and specially [for] kings and governors, that in the peace 
of the civil state they may have peace : so, contrary to the 
opinion and practice of most, drunk with the cup of the 
whore s fornication, yea, and of God s own people, fast 
asleep in anti-christian Delilah s lap, obedience to the 
command of Christ to let the tares alone will prove the 
only means to preserve their civil peace, and that without 
obedience to this command of Christ, it is impossible 
(without great transgression against the Lord in carnal 
policy, which will not long hold out) to preserve the civil 

Beside, God s people, the good wheat, are generally 
plucked up and persecuted, as well as the vilest idolaters, 
whether Jews or anti-christians : which the Lord Jesus 
seems in this parable to foretel. 

The second reason noted in the parable, which may 
satisfy any man from wondering at the patience of God, is 
this: when the world is ripe in sin, in the sins of anti- 
christianism (as the Lord spake of the sins of the Amorites, The great 
Gen. xv. 16), then those holy and mighty officers and harvest. 

9 [" There is no fear of plucking (upon God s people), \vould be blessed 
up the wheat, by rooting out idolaters of God to their recovery and healing." 
and seducers the censures inflicted Cotton s Reply, p. 51.] 

G 2 


executioners, the angels, with their sharp and cutting 
sickles of eternal vengeance, shall down with them, and 
bundle them up for the everlasting burnings. 1 

Then shall that man of sin, 2 Thess. ii. [8], be con 
sumed by the breath of the mouth of the Lord Jesus; 
and all that worship the beast and his picture, and receive 
his mark into their forehead or their hands, shall drink of 
the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without 
mixture into the cup of his indignation, and he shall he tormented 
with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and 
in the presence of the Lamb, and the smoke of their torment 
shall ascend up for ever and ever, Rev. xiv. 10, 11. 


Peace. You have been larger in vindicating this scrip 
ture from the violence offered unto it, because, as I said 
before, it is of such great consequence ; as also, because so 
many excellent hands have not rightly divided it, to the 
great misguiding of many precious feet, which otherwise 
might have been turned into the paths of more peaceable- 
ness in themselves and towards others. 

Truth. I shall be briefer in the scriptures following. 
If h christ se Peace. Yet before you depart from this, I must crave 
vour patience to satisfy one objection, and that is : These 
servants to whom the householder answereth, seem to be 
trates; mi- the ministers or messengers of the gospel, not the magis- 
the civil trates of the civil state, and therefore this charge of the 

1 [" It would as well plead for the these will the mighty angels gather 
toleration of murderers, robbers, into bundles, &c." Cotton s Reply, 
adulterers, extortioners, &c., for all p. 51.] 


Lord Jesus is not given to magistrates, to let alone false 
worshippers and idolaters. the gospel. 

Again, being spoken by the Lord Jesus to his messen 
gers, it seems to concern hypocrites in the church, as 
before was spoken, and not false worshippers in the state, 
or world. 

Truth. I answer, first, I believe I have sufficiently and 
abundantly proved, that these tares are not offenders in 
the civil state. Nor, secondly, hypocrites in the church, 
when once discovered so to be; and that therefore the 
Lord Jesus intends a grosser kind of hypocrites, professing 
the name of churches and Christians in the field of the 
world, or commonwealth. 

Secondly, I acknowledge this command, Let them alone, 
was expressly spoken to the messengers or ministers o 

the gospel, who have no civil power or authority in their Ind m f alte1ra, 
hand, and therefore not to the civil magistrate, king, or Testament, 
governor, to whom it pleased not the Lord Jesus, by him- Jjjjjjf j^ 
self or by his apostles, to give particular rules or directions 
concerning their behaviour and carriage in civil magistracy, 
as they have done expressly concerning the duty of fathers, 
mothers, children, masters, servants, yea, and of subjects 
towards magistrates, Ephes. v. and vi. ; Colos. iii. and iv. 

I conceive not the reason of this to be, as some weakly A twofold 

* state of 

have done, because the Lord Jesus would not have any h h e ri p*jijj! t3r 
followers of his to hold the place of civil magistracy, but 
rather that he foresaw, and the Holy Spirit in the apostles aU 
foresaw, how few magistrates, either in the first persecuted ever since. 
or apostated state of Christianity, would embrace his yoke. 
In the persecuted state, magistrates hated the very name 
of Christ, or Christianity. In the state apostate, some few 
magistrates, in their persons holy and precious, yet as 
coDcerning their places, as they have professed to have 


been governors or heads of the church, have been so many 
false heads, and have constituted so many false visible 

Thirdly, I conceive this charge of the Lord Jesus to 
his messengers, the preachers and proclaimers of his mind, 
is a sufficient declaration of the mind of the Lord Jesus, 
if any civil magistrate should make question what were 
his duty concerning spiritual things. 
Christ s T^ apostles, and in them all that succeed them, being 


threefold commanded not to pluck up the tares, but let them alone, 

that prohibi- received from the Lord Jesus a threefold charge. 

Christ, Let First, to let them alone, and not to pluck them up by 

them alone. 

prayer to God for their present temporal destruction. 2 
God s people Jerenw had a commission to plant and build, to pluck 

not to pray J 

Bent h rui P n re " U P an( ^ destroy kingdoms, Jer. i. 10 ; therefore he is com- 
Sn end-" manded not to pray for that people whom God had a 
though their purpose to pluck up, Jer. xiv. 11, and he plucks up the 

persecutors, . ... T-.T- i 

but for their whole nation by prayer, Lament. 111.66. Thus Llyah 

peace and J J 

salvation, brought fire from heaven to consume the captains and the 
fifties, 2 Kings i. And the apostles desired also so to 
practise against the Samaritans, Luke ix. 54, but were 
reproved by the Lord Jesus. For, contrarily, the saints, 
and servants, and churches of Christ, are to pray for all 
men, especially for all magistrates, of what sort or religions 
soever, and to seek the peace of the city, whatever city it 
be, because in the peace of the place God s people have 
peace also, Jer. xxix. 7 ; 2 Tim. ii., &c. 

Secondly, God s messengers are herein commanded not 
to prophecy, or denounce, a present destruction or extir- 

2 [" Certain it is from the word of princes must perform this great work 

truth, that the anti Christian kingdom without prayer, and then it were not 

shall be destroyed and rooted up by sanctified to God, or if it be a sacrifice 

Christian princes and states long be- sanctified to God, they must pray for 

fore the great harvest of the end of their desolation before they inflict it." 

the world. . . . And either such Cotton s Reply, p, 53. J 


pation of all false professors of the name of Christ, which 
are whole towns, cities, and kingdoms full. 3 

Jeremy did thus pluck up kingdoms, in those fearful Mi 
prophecies he poured forth against all the nations of the p^Ki? 
world, throughout his chaps, xxiv., xxv., xxvi., &c. ; as 
did also the other prophets in a measure, though none 
comparably to Jeremy and Ezekiel. 

Such denunciations of present temporal judgments, are 
not the messengers of the Lord Jesus to pour forth. It is 
true, many sore and fearful plagues are poured forth upon 
the Roman emperors and Eoman popes in the Revelation, 
yet not to their utter extirpation or plucking up until the 

Thirdly, I conceive God s messengers are charged to let God s minis 

* ters are not 

them alone, and not pluck them up, by exciting and 
stirring up civil magistrates, kings, emperors, governors, Jiu 
parliaments, or general courts, or assemblies, to punish and 
persecute all such persons out of their dominions and 
territories as worship not the true God, according to the 
revealed will of God in Christ Jesus. It is true, Elijah 
thus stirred up Ahab to kill all the priests and prophets of 
Baal ; but that was in that figurative state of the land of 
Canaan, as I have already and shall further manifest, not 
to be matched or paralleled by any other state, but the 
spiritual state or church of Christ in all the world, putting j Pet if 9 
the false prophets and idolaters spiritually to death by the i c or . v . 
two-edged sword and power of the Lord Jesus, as that 
church of Israel did corporally. 4 

3 [" It might as truly be said the ducing others to idolatry, should be 
ministers of Christ ^are forbidden to put to death, Levit. xxiv. 16. . . . The 
denounce present or speedy destruc- external equity of that judicial law of 
tion to any murderers, &c." Cotton s Moses was of moral force, and bind- 
Reply, p. 54.] eth all princes to express that zeal 

4 [" It is moral equity, that bias- and indignation, both against blas 
phemers, and apostate idolaters se- phemy in such as fall under their 


w?XTdoi- ing And therefore saith Paul expressly, 1 Cor. v. 10, we 

v^dSciased. must go out of the world, in case we may not company in 
civil converse with idolaters, &c. 

Peace. It may be said, some sorts of sinners are there 
mentioned, as drunkards, railers, extortioners, who are to 
be punished by the civil sword why not idolaters also ? 
for although the subject may lawfully converse, buy and 
sell, and live with such, yet the civil magistrates shall 
nevertheless be justly blamed in suffering of them. 

Truth. I answer, the apostle, in this scripture, speaks 
not of permission of either, but expressly shows the differ- 

ve a rle u lith n " ence ^ etween tne church and the world, and the lawfulness 
ubut not ^ conversation with such persons in civil things, with 
whom it is not lawful to have converse in spirituals: 
secretly withal foretelling, that magistrates and people, 
whole states and kingdoms, should be idolatrous and anti- 
christian, yet with whom, notwithstanding, the saints and 
churches of God might lawfully cohabit, and hold civil 
converse and conversation. 

Concerning their permission of what they judge idola 
trous, I have and shall speak at large. 

Peace. Oh! how contrary unto this command of the 

JX n ( Lord Jesus have such, as have conceived themselves the 
true messengers of the Lord Jesus, in all ages, not let 
such professors and prophets alone, whom they have 
judged tares; but have provoked kings and kingdoms (and 
some out of good intentions and zeal to God) to prosecute 
and persecute such even unto death! Amongst whom 
God s people, the good wheat, hath also been plucked up, 
as all ages and histories testify, and too, too oft the world 
laid upon bloody heaps in civil and intestine desolations 

just power, which Ahab neglected; or some others, by his consent." 
and against seduction to idolatry, Cotton s Reply, p. 55.] 
which Ahab executed, or else Elijah, 


on this occasion. All which would be prevented, and the 
greatest breaches made up in the peace of our own or 
other countries, were this command of the Lord Jesus 
obeyed, to wit, to let them alone until the harvest. 


[_Truth.~\ I shall conclude this controversy about this 
parable, in this brief sum and recapitulation of what hath 
been said. I hope, by the evident demonstration of God s 
Spirit to the conscience, I have proved, negatively, 

First. That the tares in this parable cannot signify 
doctrines or practices, as was affirmed, but persons. 

Secondly. The tares cannot signify hypocrites in the 
church, either undiscovered or discovered. 

Thirdly. The tares here cannot signify scandalous 
offenders in the church* 

Fourthly. Nor scandalous offenders, in life and conver 
sation, against the civil state. 

Fifthly. The field in which these tares are sown, is not 
the church. 

Again, affirmatively : First. The field is properly the 
world, the civil state, or commonwealth. 

Secondly. The tares here intended by the Lord Jesus, 
are anti-christian idolaters, opposite to the good seed of 
the kingdom, true Christians. 

Thirdly, The ministers or messengers of the Lord 
Jesus ought to let them alone to live in the world, and 
neither seek by prayer, or prophecy, to pluck them up 
before the harvest. 

Fourthly. This permission or suffering of them in the 
field of the world, is not for hurt, but for common good, 


even for the good of the good wheat, the people of 

Lastly. The patience of God is, that the patience of 
man ought to be exercised toward them; and yet notwith 
standing, their doom is fearful at the harvest, even gather 
ing, bundling, and everlasting burnings, by the mighty 
hand of the angels in the end of the world. 


Matt. xv. H, Peace. The second scripture brought against such per- 

the second 

cmit p ro u v r e e rted secution for cause of conscience, is Matt. xv. 14 ; where 
caus h j 8 the disciples being troubled at the Pharisees carriage 
toward the Lord Jesus and his doctrines, and relating 
how they were offended at him, the Lord Jesus com 
manded his disciples to let them alone, and gives this 
reason that the blind lead the blind, and both should fall 
into the ditch. 

Unto which, answer is made, " That it makes nothing 
to the cause, because it was spoken to his private disciples, 
and not to public officers in church or state : and also, 
because it was spoken in regard of troubling themselves, 
or regarding the offence which the Pharisees took." 

Truth. I answer, to pass by his assertion of the privacy 

of the apostles, in that the Lord Jesus commanding to let 

them alone, that is, not only not to be offended themselves, 

Christ Jesus k u t no t to meddle with them it appears it was no ordi- 

never direct- 

" nance of God, nor Christ, for the disciples to have gone 
p further, and have complained to, and excited, the civil 

magistrate to his duty : which if it had been an ordinance 
of God and Christ, either for the vindicating of Christ s 
doctrine, or the recovering of the Pharisees, or the 


preserving of others from infection, the Lord Jesus would 
never have commanded them to omit that which should 
have tended to these holy ends. 5 


Peace. It may be said, that neither the Roman Csesar, 
nor Herod, nor Pilate, knew aught of the true God, or of 
Christ; and it had been in vain to have made complaint 
to them who were not fit and competent, but ignorant 
and opposite judges. 

Truth. I answer, first, this removes, by the way, that 
stumbling-block which many fall at, to wit, Paul s appeal- Paul s ap- 

. pealing to 

ing to Caesar ; which since he could not in common sense Csesar - 
do unto Caesar as a competent judge in such cases, and 
wherein he should have also denied his own apostleship or 
office, in which regard, to wit, in matters of Christ, he 
was higher than Caesar himself it must needs follow, that 
his appeal was merely in respect of his civil wrongs, and 
false accusations of sedition, &c. 6 

5 [" It was no just cause for the 6 [" Paul s appeal to Csesar, was 

civil magistrate to punish the Phari- about the wrongs done unto the Jews, 

sees, for that they took unjust offence The wrongs to them were not only 

against Christ s wholesome doctrine. civil, but church offences, which Paul 

For neither was the doctrine itself a denied. ... A man may be such 

fundamental truth ; nor was their an offender in matters of religion, 

offence against it a fundamental error, against the law of God, against the 

though it was dangerous. Besides, church, as well as in civil matters 

the civil magistrates had no law esta- against Csesar, as to be worthy of 

blished about doctrines, or offences of death. . . . Paul, or any such like 

that nature. And therefore, they servant of Christ, if he should com- 

could take no judicial cognizance of mit any such offence, he would not 

any complaint presented to them refuse judgment unto death." Ib. p. 

about the same." Cotton s Reply, 59.] 
p. 57.] 


civil magis- Secondly, if it had been an ordinance of God, that all 

trates never 

bJMSodde- C i y ^ magistrates were bound to judge in causes spiritual 
the d fa?thof or Christian, as to suppress heresies, defend the faith of 
Jesus, although that Caesar, Herod, Pilate were wicked, 

himself to ignorant, and opposite, yet the disciples, and the Lord 
power in Christ himself, had been bound to have performed the 

God s busi- 

wh S ere a it d ^ ut 7 ^ faithful subjects, for the preventing of further 
gSftVunie. evil, and the clearing of themselves, and so to have left 
the matter upon the magistrates care and conscience, by 
complaining unto the magistrate against such evils. For 
every person is bound to go as far as lies in his power for 
the preventing and the redressing of evil; and where it 
stops in any, and runs not clear, there the guilt, like filth 
or mud, will lie. 

Thirdly, had it been the holy purpose of God to have 
established the doctrine and kingdom of his Son this way, 
smce his coming he would have furnished commonweals, 
flSrate?, "if kingdoms, cities, &c., then and since, with such temporal 
appointed, powers and magistrates as should have been excellently 
fit and competent : for he that could have had legions of 
angels, if he so pleased, could as easily have been, and 
still be furnished with legions of good and gracious magis 
trates to this end and purpose. 7 

i [" We do not say, It is the holy his saints, and by the bloody swords 

will and purpose of God to establish of persecuting magistrates: ... but 

the doctrine and kingdom of his Son it is the duty of magistrates to know 

only this way, to wit, by the help of the Son, acknowledge his kingdom, 

civil authority. For it is his will also and submit their thrones and crowns 

to magnify his power in establishing to it, &c" Cotton s Reply, p. 61.] 
the same ... by the sufferings of 



It is generally said, that God hath in former times, and 
doth still, and will hereafter stir up kings and queens, &c. 

I answer, that place of Isa. xlix. 23, will appear to be 
far from proving such kings and queens judges of eccle 
siastical causes : and if not judges, they may not punish. 

In spiritual things, themselves are subject to the 
church and censures of it, although in civil respects 
superior. How shall those kings and queens be supreme 
governors of the church, and yet lick the dust of the 
church s feet ? as it is there expressed. 8 

Thirdly, God s Israel of old were earnest with God for God s Isr * e i 

earnest with 

a king, for an arm of flesh, for a king to protect them, as 
other nations had : God s Israel still have ever been restless 
with God for an arm of flesh. 

God gave them Saul in his anger, and took him away 
in his wrath: and God hath given many a Saul in his 
anger, that is, an arm of flesh in the way of his providence: 
though I judge not all persons whom Saul in his calling 
typed out, to be of Saul s spirit, for I speak of a state 
and outward visible power only. 

I add, God will take away such stays, on whom God s 
people rest, in his wrath : that king David, that is, Christ 
Jesus the antitype, in his own spiritual power in the 
hands of the saints, may spiritually and for ever be 

And therefore I conclude, it was in one respect that the 
Lord Jesus said, Let them alone; because it was no ordi- 

\y e (j o no t allege that place in to be providers for the church s well- 
Isaiah, to prove kings and queens to being, and protectors of it." Cotton s 
be judges of ecclesiastical causes; but Reply, p. 61 .] 


nance for any disciple of Jesus to prosecute the Pharisees 
at Caesar s bar. 

Beside, let it be seriously considered by such as plead 
s d though f r present corporal punishments, as conceiving that such 
sinners, though they break not civil peace, should not 

poiaipun- escape unpunished I say, let it be considered, though 

ishnient in 

tno world, in for the present their punishment is deferred, yet the 
punishment inflicted on them will be found to amount to 
a higher pitch than any corporal punishment in the 
world beside, and that in these four respects : 


th h e%7i of First, by just judgment from God, false teachers are 
Sorae tTan 8 stark blind. God s sword hath struck out the right eye 
of their mind and spiritual understanding, ten thousand 

tody to be times a greater punishment than if the magistrate should 
tenthousand command both the right and left eye of their bodies to be 
bored or plucked out ; and that in so many fearful 
respects if the blindness of the soul and of the body were 
a little compared together whether we look at that want 
of guidance, or the want of joy and pleasure, which the 
light of the eye affordeth; or whether we look at the 
damage, shame, deformity, and danger, which blindness 
brings to the outward man ; and much more true in the 
want of the former, and misery of the latter, in spiritual 
and soul blindness to all eternity. 

Secondly, how fearful is that wound that no balm in 
Grilead can cure ! How dreadful is that blindness which 
spTntua for ever to all eye-salve is incurable ! For if persons be 
nothing* wilfully and desperately obstinate, after light shining 
forth, Let them alone, saith the Lord. So spake the Lord 


once of Ephraim : Ephraim is joined to idols, let him. alone, 
Hos. iv. 17. What more lamentable condition, than when 
the Lord hath given a poor sinner over as a hopeless 
patient, incurable, which we are wont to account a sorer 
affliction, than if a man were torn and racked, &c. 

And this I speak, not that I conceive that all whom the 
Lord Jesus commands his servants to pass from and let 
alone, to permit and tolerate, when it is in their power 
corporally to molest them, I say, that all are thus incura 
ble; yet that sometimes that word is spoken by Christ 
Jesus to his servants to be patient, for neither can corporal 
or spiritual balm or physic ever heal or cure them. 

Thirdly, their end is the ditch, that bottomless pit of M j!f!>" 
everlasting separation from the holy and sweet presence which th" 
of the Father of lights, goodness, and mercy itself end- 
less, easeless, in extremity, universality, and eternity of 
torments; which most direful and lamentable downfall, 
should strike a holy fear and trembling into all that see 
the pit whither these blind Pharisees are tumbling, and 
cause us to strive, so far as hope may be, by the spiritual 
eye-salve of the word of God, to heal and cure them of 
this their soul-destroying blindness. 

Fourthly, of those that fall into this dreadful ditch, 
both leader and followers, how deplorable in more espe 
cial manner is the leader s case, upon whose neck the 
followers tumble the ruin, not only of his own soul, 
being horrible, but also the ruin of the followers souls 
eternally galling and tormenting. 

Peace. Some will say, these things are indeed full of 
horror ; yet such is the state of all sinners, and of many 
malefactors, whom yet the state is bound to punish, and 
sometimes by death itself. 

Truth. I answer, the civil magistrate beareth not the 
sword in vain, but to cut off civil offences, yea, and the 


offenders too in case. But what is this to a blind Phari 
see, resisting the doctrine of Christ, who haply may be 
as good a subject, and as peaceable and profitable to the 
civil state as any : and for his spiritual offence against the 
Lord Jesus, in denying him to be the true Christ, he 
suffer eth the vengeance of a dreadful judgment, both 
present and eternal, as before. 9 


Peace. Yea: but it is said that the blind Pharisees, 
misguiding the subjects of a civil state, greatly sin against 
a civil state, and therefore justly suffer civil punishments ; 
for shall the civil magistrate take care of outsides only, 
to wit, of the bodies of men, and not of souls, in labour 
ing to procure their everlasting welfare ? 

Truth. I answer. It is a truth : the mischief of a blind 

the chiefest 

murder. Pharisee s blind guidance is greater than if he acted 
treasons, murders, &c. ; and the loss of one soul by his 
seduction, is a greater mischief than if he blew up parlia 
ments, and cut the throats of kings or emperors, so pre 
cious is that invaluable jewel of a soul above all the 
present lives and bodies of all the men in the world ! 
And therefore I affirm, that justice, calling for eye for 
eye, tooth for tooth, life for life, calls also soul for soul; 

* [" We do not hold it lawful for a sees to submit to the doctrine or 

Christian magistrate to compel by religion of Christ Jesus." Cotton s 

civil sword either Pharisee, or any Reply, p. 64. On this Mr. Williams 

Jew, or pagan, to profess the religion, observes, that Mr. Cotton believes " it 

or doctrine, of the Lord Jesus, much is no compulsion to make laws with 

less do we think it meet for a private penalties for all to come to church 

Christian to provoke either Jewish or and to public worship. 1 " Bloudy Te- 

pagan magistrates to compel Phari- nent yet more Bloudy, p. 87.] 

cal death in 


which the blind-guiding, seducing Pharisee, shall truly 
pay in that dreadful ditch, which the Lord Jesus speaks 
of. But this sentence against him, the Lord Jesus only 
pronounceth in his church, his spiritual judicature, and fo^SSfbS 


executes this sentence in part at present, and hereafter to who by typi 

all eternity. Such a sentence no civil judge can pass, JJ 

such a death no civil sword can inflict. 1 

I answer, secondly. Dead men cannot be infected. The A g* 1 mis - 

take in most 

civil state, the world, being in a natural state, dead in sin, ^cS 6 
whatever be the state-religion unto which persons are "S dead 18 

forced, it is impossible it should be infected. Indeed the 

. ,,-,.. i -i i i i 

living, the believing, the cliurcn and spiritual state, that trin 

and that only is capable of infection ; for whose help we 
shall presently see what preservatives and remedies the 
Lord Jesus hath appointed. 

Moreover, as we see in a common plague or infection AH natural 

men being 

the names are taken how manv are to die, and not one dead in sin > 

yet none die 

more shall be struck than the destroying angel hath the JJTJJJSC 
names of:- so here, whatever be the soul-infection nt a <Tor- here ~ 
breathed out from the lying lips of a plague- sick Pharisee, da 
yet the names are taken, not one elect or chosen of God 
shall perish. God s sheep are safe in his eternal hand and 
counsel, and he that knows his material, knows also his 
mystical stars, their numbers, and calls them every one by 
name. None fall into the ditch on the blind Pharisee s 
back but such as were ordained to that condemnation, 
both guide and followers, 1 Pet. ii. 8 ; Jude 4. The 
vessels of wrath shall break and split, and only they, to 
the praise of God s eternal justice, Bom. ix. 22. 

1 [" When the corruption, or de- 2 [" Yet it is not only every man s 

struction of souls, is a destruction also duty, but the common duty of the ma- 

of lives, liberties, estates of men, lex gistrates to prevent infection, and to 

talionis calleth for, not only soul for preserve the common health of the 

soul, but life for life." Cotton s Re- place, by removing infectious persons 

ply, p. 64.] into solitary tabernacles." Ib. p. 65.] 




Peace. But it is said, be it granted that in a common 
plague or infection none are smitten and die but such as 
are appointed, yet it is not only every man s duty, but the 
common duty of the magistrate to prevent infection, and 
to preserve the common health of the place ; likewise, 
though the number of the elect be sure, and God knows 
who are his, yet hath he appointed means for their pre 
servation from perdition, and from infection, and therefore 
the angel is blamed for suffering Balaam s doctrine, and 
Jezebel, to seduce Christ Jesus servants, Rev. ii. [14, 
20]; Tit, iii. 10; Rom. xvi. 17. 

The Lord Truth. I answer, Let the scripture, that of Titus, 
not left his Reject an heretic, and Rom. xvi. 17, Avoid them that are 

church with- 

antidotS 11 * 1 contentious, &c., let them, and all of like nature, be ex- 

dto agTmst amined, and it will appear that the great and good Phy- 

inlection sician, Christ Jesus, the Head of the body, and King of 

the church, hath not been unfaithful in providing spiritual 

antidotes and preservatives against the spiritual sickness, 

sores, weaknesses, dangers, of his church and people. But 

he never appointed the civil sword for either antidote or 

remedy, as an addition to those spirituals which he hath 

left with his wife, his church or people. 3 

Hence how great is the bondage, the captivity of God s 

* [" That hindereth not the lawful ever abrogate it in the New. . . The 

and necessary use of a civil sword for reason is of moral, i. e., of universal 

the punishment of some such offences, and perpetual equity to put to death 

as are subject to church censure. . . . any apostate seducing idolater, or 

It is evident that the civil sword was heretic . . . the magistrate beareth 

appointed for a remedy in this case, not the sword in vain, to execute 

Deut. xiii. . . . For he (the angel of vengeance on such an evil doer." 

God s presence) did expressly appoint Cotton s Reply, pp. 66, 67.] 
it in the Old Testament: nor did he 


own people to Babylonish or confused mixtures in wor 
ship, and unto worldly and earthly policies to uphold state- 
religions or worships : since that which is written to the 
angel and church at Pergamos shall be interpreted as 
sent to the governor and city of Pergamos, and that 
which is sent to Titus and the church of Christ at Crete 
must be delivered to the civil officers and city thereof. 

But as the civil magistrate hath his charge of the 
bodies and goods of the subject: so have the spiritual 
officers, governors, and overseers of Christ s city or king 
dom, the charge of their souls, and soul-safety. 4 Hence 
that charge of Paul to Timothy, 1 Tim. v. 20, Them that 
sin rebuke before all, that others may learn to fear. This 
is, in the church of Christ, a spiritual means for the 
healing of a soul that hath sinned, or taken infection, and 
for the preventing of the infecting of others, that others 
may learn to fear, c. 

awe oonoage 

God s people 

live in. 


Peace. It is said true, that Titus and Timothy, and so 
the officers of the church of Christ, are bound to prevent 
soul-infection: but what hinders that the magistrate 
should not be charged also with this duty ? 

Truth. I answer, many things I have answered, and 
more shall, at present I shall only say this : If it be the 
magistrate s duty or office, then is he both a temporal and 

* [" It is a carnal and worldly, ought to procure spiritual help to 

and indeed an ungodly imagination, their souls, and to prevent such spi- 

to confine the magistrates charge to ritual evils, as that the prosperity of 

the bodies and goods of the subject, religion amongst them might advance 

and to exclude them from the care of the prosperity of the civil state." 

their souls They may and Cotton s Reply, p. 68.] 

H 2 


ecclesiastical officer: [the] contrary to which most men 
The kings will affirm. And yet we know, the policy of our own 
land and country hath established to the kings and queens 
thereof the supreme heads or governors of the church of 

That doctrine and distinction, that a magistrate may 

punish a heretic civilly, will not here avail; for what is 

fusion in Babel, if this be not, confusedly to punish corporal or civil 


merits. offences with spiritual or church censures (the offender not 
being a member of it), or to punish soul or spiritual 
offences with corporal or temporal w r eapons, proper to 
delinquents against the temporal or civil state. 

Woe were it Lastly, woe w r erc it with the civil magistrate and most 

with the 

fhe" intolerable burdens do they lay upon their backs that 

sJus(beside teach this doctrine if together with the common care and 
careof the? 7 charge of the commonwealth, the peace and safety of the 

bodies and _ . _ - i i i n 

goods of the town, city, state, or kingdom, the blood of every soul 


that perisheth should cry against him; unless he could 
say with Paul, Acts xx. [26,] (in spiritual regards), / am 
clear from the blood of all men, that is, the blood of souls, 
which was his charge to look after, so far as his preaching 
went, not the blood of bodies which belongeth to the civil 

I acknowledge he ought to cherish, as a foster-father, 
the Lord Jesus, in his truth, in his saints, to cleave unto 
them himself, and to countenance them even to the death, 
yea, also, to break the teeth of the lions, who offer civil 
violence and injury unto them. 

But, to see all his subjects Christians, to keep such 
church or Christians in the purity of worship, and see 
them do their duty, this belongs to the head of the body, 
Christ Jesus, and [to] such spiritual officers as he hath to this 
purpose deputed, whose right it is, according to the true 
P attern - Abimelech, Saul, Adonijah, Athalia, were but 


usurpers : David, Solomon, Joash, &c., they were the true 
heirs and types of Christ Jesus, in Jiis true power and J" of 
authority in his kingdom. 


Peace. The next scripture brought against such per- Luke ix. 54, 
sedition is Luke ix. 54, 55 : where the Lord Jesus s ^- 
reproved his disciples, who would have had fire come 
down from heaven, and devour those Samaritans that 
would not receive him, in these words : You know not of 
what spirit you are, the Son of man is not come to destroy 
men s lives, but to save them. 

With this scripture Mr. Cotton joins the fourth, and 
answers both in one, which is this, 2 Tim. ii. 24, The 
servant of the Lord must not strive, but must be gentle toward 
all men, suffering the evil men, instructing them with meek 
ness that are contrary-minded and oppose themselves; proving 
if God peradventure will give them repentance that they may 
acknowledge the truth, and that they may recover themselves 
out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at 
his will. 

Unto both these scriptures it pleased him thus to 
answer : " Both these are directions to ministers of the 
gospel how to deal, not with obstinate offenders in the 
church who sin against conscience, but either with men 
without, as the Samaritans were, and many unconverted 
Christians in Crete, whom Titus, as an evangelist, was to 
seek to convert : or at best with some Jews or Gentiles 
in the church, who, though carnal, yet were not convinced 
of the error of their way. And it is true, it became not 

the spirit of the gospel to convert aliens to the faith, such 


as the Samaritans were, by fire and brimstone, nor to 
deal harshly in public ministry, or private conference, with 
all such several minded men, as either had not yet entered 
into church fellowship, or if they had, did hitherto sin of 
ignorance, not against conscience. But neither of both 
these texts do hinder the minister of the gospel to proceed 
in a church way against church members, when they 
become scandalous offenders, either in life or doctrine, 
much less do they speak at all to the civil magistrate." 5 


Truth. This perplexed and ravelled answer, wherein so 
many things and so doubtful are wrapt up and entangled 
together, I shall take in pieces. 

The answer- First, concerning that of the Lord Jesus rebuking his 
should speak disciples for their rash and ignorant bloody zeal (Luke ix.), 
corporal destruction upon the Samaritans for 

" refusing the Lord Jesus, &c., the answerer affirmeth, that 
hindcreth not the ministers of the gospel to proceed in a 
church way against scandalous offenders; which is not 
here questioned, but maintained to be the holy will of the 
Lord, and a sufficient censure and punishment, if no civil 
offence against the civil state be committed. 

5 [" The matter of this answer, it 38, some haste, and light, sleepy 

is likely enough, was given by me; attention." Cotton s Reply, p. 74. 

for it suiteth with my own apprehen- Mr. Williams replies, "It is at hand 

sion, both then and now. But some for Master Cotton or any to see that 

expressions in laying it down, I do copy which he gave forth and cor- 

not own, nor can I find any copy rected in some places with his own 

under my own handwriting, that hand, and every word verbatim here 

might testify how I did express my- published." Bloody Tenent yet more 

self, especially in a word or two, Bloody, p. 114. See ante, p. 22.] 
wherein the discusser observeth,in cap. 


Secondly, saith he, " Much less doth this speak at all to 
the civil magistrate." 

Where I observe, that he implies that beside the censure 
of the Lord Jesus, in the hands of his spiritual governors, 
for any spiritual evil in life or doctrine, the civil magistrate 
is also to inflict corporal punishment upon the contraiy- 
minded: 6 whereas, 

First, if the civil magistrate be a Christian, a disciple, 
or follower of the meek Lamb of God, he is bound to be 
far from destroying the bodies of men for refusing to nke Christ 
receive the Lord Jesus Christ : for otherwise he should not destroy 

ing men s 

not know, according to this speech of the Lord Jesus, bodies - 
what spirit he was of, yea, and to be ignorant of the 
sweet end of the coming of the Son of man, which was not 
to destroy the bodies of men, but to save both bodies and 
souls, vers. 55, 56. 

Secondly, if the civil magistrate being a Christian, 
gifted, prophesy in the church, 1 Cor. xiv. 1 although 
the Lord Jesus Christ, whom they in their own persons o t< n 
hold forth, shall be refused vet they are here forbidden to fence, 

stripes or 

call for fire from heaven, that is, to procure or inflict any JJ* Jf 
corporal judgment, upon such offenders, remembering the f eviT ien 
end of the Lord Jesus coming [was] not to destroy 
men s lives, but to save them. 

Lastly, this also concerns the conscience of the civil 
magistrate. As he is bound to preserve the civil peace 

8 [" It is far from me to say, that are contrary-minded in matters of 

it is lawful for civil magistrates to religion/ Cotton s Reply, p. 76. 

inflict corporal punishments upon To this Mr. Williams expresses his 

men contrary-minded, standing in surprise as to the meaning Mr. Cotton 

the same state the Samaritans did. puts upon the words contrary-minded, 

No such thought arose in my heart, seeing the whole argument of his 

nor fell from my pen that it is law- book is to show that heretics may be 

ful for a civil magistrate to inflict lawfully punished by the civil magis- 

corporal punishments upon such as trate. P. 115.] 


and quiet of the place and people under him, he is bound 
to suffer no man to break the civil peace, by laying hands 
of violence upon any, though as vile as the Samaritans, 
for not receiving of the Lord Jesus Christ. 

It is indeed the ignorance and blind zeal of the second 
Rev. xiii. 13. beast, the false prophet, Rev. xiii. 13, to persuade the 

Fire from * 

P owers f tne earth to persecute the saints, that is, 
to bring fiery judgments upon men in a judicial way, and 
to pronounce that such judgments of imprisonment, 
down? th banishment, death, proceed from God s righteous venge 
ance upon such heretics. So dealt divers bishops in 
France, and England too in Queen Mary s days, with the 
saints of God at their putting to death, declaiming against 
them in their sermons to the people, and proclaiming that 
these persecutions, even unto death, were God s just 
judgments from heaven upon these heretics. 


Peace. Doubtless such fiery spirits, as the Lord Jesus 

are not ^ ^ oc ^ * P ra y> s P ea k to the second place 
ou t o f Timothy, 2 Epist. ii. 25, 26. 

Truth. I acknowledge this instruction, to be meek and 
patient, &c., is properly an instruction to the ministers of 
the gospel. Yet divers arguments from hence will truly 
and fairly be collected, to manifest and evince how far the 
civil magistrate ought to be from dealing with the civil 
sword in spiritual cases. 

And first, by the way I desire to ask, what were these 
unconverted Christians in Crete, which the answerer 
compareth with the Samaritans, whom Titus, saith he, 
as an evangelist, was to seek to convert ; and whether the 


Lord Jesus have any such disciples and followers, who 
yet are visibly in an unconverted state ? Oh ! that it 
may please the Father of mercies, the Father of lights, to 
awaken and open the eyes of all that fear before him, 
that they may see whether this be the language of 
Canaan, or the language of Ashdod. 

What is an unconverted Christian, but in truth an A qu^re 

what tho 

unconverted convert ? that is in English, one unturned answerer 

means by 

turned ; unholy holy ; disciples, or followers of Jesus, not ve S rt con ~ 
following of him : in a word, that is, Christians, or anointed cSe! 1 * 11 m 
by Christ, anti-christians, not anointed with the Spirit of 
Jesus Christ. 7 

Certain it is, such they were not unto whom the Spirit The original 

of Chris- 

of God gives that name, Acts ii. [26.] And, indeed, tians - 
whither can this tend but to uphold the blasphemy of so 
many as say they are Jews, that is, Christians, but are 
not ? Rev. ii. 2. But as they are not Christians from 
Christ, but from the beast and his picture, so their proper 
name from anti-christ, is anti-christians. 8 

How sad yet and how true an evidence is this, that the The an wer- 

er yet in the 

soul of the answerer (I speak not of his outward soul and JjJjJ 
person, but of his worship), hath never yet heard the call l 
of the Lord Jesus to come out from those unconverted 
churches, from that unconverted, anti-christian Christian 
world, and so from anti-christ, Belial, to seek fellowship 

7 [" Let it not seem strange to 8 [" I have not yet learned that 

hear tell of unconverted Christians or the children of believing parents born 

unconverted converts. There is no in the church, are all of them pagans, 

contradiction at all in the words. and no members of the church: or 

When the Lord saith, that Judah that being members of the church, 

turned unto him, not with all her and so holy, that they are all of them 

heart, butfeignedJy, was she not then truly converted. And if they be not 

an unconverted convert ? converted always truly converted, then let him 

in show and profession, but uncon- not wonder, nor stumble at the phrase 

verted in heart and truth 1" Cotton s of unconverted Christians." Ib. p. 

Reply, p. 78.] 78.] 


with Christ Jesus and his converted Christians, disciples 
after the first pattern. 
God s people Again, I observe the haste and light attention of the 

sleepy in the 

tters of answerer to these scriptures, as commonly the spirits of 
God s children in matters of Christ s kingdom are very 
sleepy : for these persons here spoken of were not, as he 
speaks, unconverted Christians in Crete, whom Titus as 
an evangelist was to convert, but they were such opposites 
as Timothy, to whom Paul writes this letter at Ephesus, 
should not meet withal. 


Peace. But what is there in this scripture of Timothy 
alleged concerning the civil magistracy ? 

Truth. I argue from this place of Timothy in particular, 
thus : 

pSen?e iv First. If the civil magistrates be Christians, or members 

ness 81 *" of the church, able to prophesy in the church of Christ, 

?hat e op en a then, I say as before, they are bound by this command of 

mysteries. Christ to suffer opposition to their doctrine, with meekness 

and gentleness, and to be so far from striving to subdue 

their opposites with the civil sword, that they are bound 

with patience and meekness to wait, if God peradventure 

will please to grant repentance unto their opposites. 

So also it pleaseth the answerer to acknowledge in these 
words : 

"It becomes not the spirit of the gospel to convert 
aliens to the faith (such as the Samaritans, and the uncon 
verted Christians in Crete) with fire and brimstone." 

Secondly. Be they oppositions within, and church 
members, as the answerer speaks, become scandalous in 


doctrine, (I speak not of scandals against the civil state, 
which the civil magistrate ought to punish), it is the Lord 
only, as this scripture to Timothy implies, who is able to 
give them repentance, and recover them out of Satan s 
snare. To which end also, he hath appointed those holy 
and dreadful censures in his church or kingdom. True it 
is, the sword may make, as once the Lord complained, The civil 

sword may 

Isa. x., a whole nation of hvpocrites; but to recover a ake a na - 

- 1 - tionofhypo- 

soul from Satan by repentance, and to bring them from StShSJ- 
anti-christian doctrine or worship to the doctrine or wor- not n o ne Ut 
ship Christian in the least true internal or external sub 
mission, that only works the all-powerful God, by the 
sword of his Spirit in the hand of his spiritual officers. 9 

What a most woeful proof hereof have the nations of wonderful 
the earth given in all ages ? And to seek no further reSgfon in 

i . . -, . England. 

than our native soil, within a few scores of years, how 
many wonderful changes in religion hath the whole king 
dom made, according to the change of the governors thereof, 
in the several religions which they themselves embraced ! 
Henry the Seventh finds and leaves the kingdom abso 
lutely popish. Henry the Eighth casts it into a mould 
half popish, half protestant. Edward the Sixth brings 
forth an edition all protestant. Queen Mary within few England s 
years defaceth Edward s work, and renders the kingdom, poinfoV 11 
after her grandfather Henry the Seventh s pattern, all 
popish. Mary s short life and religion end together ; and 

9 [" If opposition rise from within, and fundamentals of religion, whether 

from the members of the church, I by heresy of doctrine or idolatry in 

do not believe it to be lawful for the worship, and shall proceed to seek 

magistrate to seek to subdue and the seduction of others, I do believe 

convert them to be of his mind by the magistrate is not to tolerate such 

the civil sword; but rather to use all opposition against the truth in church 

spiritual means for their conviction members, or in any professors of the 

and conversion. But if the opposi- truth after due conviction from the 

tion still continue in doctrine and word of truth." Cotton s Reply, p. 

worship, and that against the vitals 81.] 


Elizabeth reviveth her brother Edward s model, all pro- 
testant. And some eminent witnesses of God s truth 
against anti-christ have inclined to believe, that before 
the downfall of that beast, England must once again bow 
down her fair neck to his proud usurping yoke and foot. 

Peace. It hath been England s sinful shame, to fashion 
and change their garments and religions with wondrous 
ease and lightness, as a higher power, a stronger sword 
hath prevailed; after the ancient pattern of Nebuchad 
nezzar s bowing the whole world in one most solemn 
uniformity of worship to his golden image, Dan. iii. 1 


But it hath been thought, or said, Shall oppositions 
against the truth escape unpunished ? will they not prove 
mischievous? &c. 

Truth. I answer, as before, concerning the blind guides, 
The misery in case there be no civil offence committed, the masris- 

of opposites 

troth 8 * the frates, and all men that by the mercy of God to themselves 
discern the misery of such opposites, have cause to lament 
and bewail that fearful condition wherein such are entan 
gled: to wit, in the snares and chains of Satan, with 
which they are so invincibly caught and held, that no 
power in heaven or earth but the right hand of the Lord, 
in the meek and gentle dispensing of the word of truth, 
can release and quit them. 

Those many false Christs, of whom the Lord Jesus 

1 [" Yet it is not more than befell braided them with the civil magis- 

the church of Judah, in the days trate s power in causes of religion, as 

of Ahaz and Hezeldah, Manasseh and the cause of it." Cotton s Reply, 

Josiah; yet the prophets never up- p. 82.] 


forewarns, Matt. xxiv. 5, 11, have suitably their false 
bodies, faith, spirit, baptism, as the Lord Jesus hath his * Christ 
true body, faith, spirit, &c., Ephes. iv. 5 ; correspondent 

also are their weapons, and the success, issue, or operation 
of them. A carnal weapon or sword of steel may produce 
a carnal repentance, a show, an outside, a uniformity, 
through a state or kingdom; but it hath pleased the 
Father to exalt the Lord Jesus only to be a Prince, armed 
with power and means sufficient to give repentance to Israel, 
Acts v. 31. 

Accordingly, an unbelieving soul being dead in sin, 
although he be changed from one worship to another, like 
a dead man shifted into several changes of apparel, cannot 
please God, Heb. xi. 6. And consequently, whatever 
such an unbelieving and unregenerate person acts in wor 
ship or religion, it is but sin, Rom. xiv. [23.] Preaching 
[is] sin, praying, though without beads or book, sin ; per 
breaking of bread, or Lord s supper, sin; yea, as odious 
as the oblation of swine s blood, a clog s neck, or killing of 
a man, Isa. Ixvi. [3.] 

But faith is that gift which proceeds alone from the 
Father of lights, Phil. i. 29, and till he please to make his 
light arise and open the eyes of blind sinners, their souls 
shall lie fast asleep and the faster, in that a sword of 
steel compels them to a worship in hypocrisy in the 
dungeons of spiritual darkness and Satan s slavery. 

Peace. I add, that a civil sword, as woeful experience in The danger 

and mischief 

all ages hath proved, is so far from bringing, or helping 

forward an opposite in religion to repentance, that magis- jjj c r 

t rates sin grievously against the work of God, and blood SyJunagi*. 

of souls, by such proceedings. Because as commonly the gSity cJali 5 
sufferings of false and anti-christian teachers harden their *hich he 

aims to sup- 

followers, who being blind are by this means occasioned to P ress - 
tumble into the ditch of hell after their blind leaders, with 
more inflamed zeal of lying confidence : so, secondly, 


violence and a sword of steel, beget such an impression 
* n *ke sun erers > that certainly they conclude, that indeed 
needs cama! tnat religion cannot be true which needs such instruments 
of violence to uphold it; so that persecutors are far from 


beget a per- Pal soft and gentle commiseration of the blindness of others. 

suasion of 

X Lhear2 ^ ^ s P ur P ose ^ pleased the Father of spirits, of old, to 
secut e ed. er " constrain the emperor of Rome, Antoninus Pius, to write 
to all the governors of his provinces to forbear to persecute 

Antoninus . 

Pius s gold- the Christians ; because such dealing must needs be so far 

en act. 

from converting the Christians from their way, that it 
rather begat in their minds an opinion of their cruelties, 
&c. 3 


isa. if. 4 ; Peace. The next scripture against such persecution, is 
isa. xi. 9 ; that of the prophet Isa. ii. 4. together with Mic. iv. 3, 


peaceable They shall beat their swords into ploughshares, and their 
spears into pruning-hooks. Isa. xi. 9, There shall none hurt 
or destroy in all the mountain of my holiness. 

Unto which it pleased Mr. Cotton to say, " That these 

onSpro- predictions do only show, first, with what kind of weapons 


2 [" A civil magistrate ought not straitened and hardened against the 

to draw out his civil sword against poor sheep and lambs of Christ." 

any seducers till he have used all Cotton s Reply, p. 83.] 
good means for their conviction, and 3 [Eusebii Eccles. Hist. lib. iv. c. 

thereby clearly manifested the bowels xiii. The rescript is also found ap- 

of tender commiseration and com- pended to the second apology of 

passion towards them. But if after Justin Martyr, Opera, torn. i. p. 100, 

their continuance in obstinate rebel- edit. Coloniae, 1686. By modern 

lion against the light, he shall still writers it is deemed spurious, although 

walk towards them in soft and gentle in spirit consonant with the well 

commiseration, his softness and gen- known temper of the emperor. Ne 

tleness is excessive large to foxes and ander Ch. Hist. i. p. 141. Gieseler, 

wolves; but his bowels are miserably i. 130. Clark s For. and Theol. Lib.] 


he should subdue the nations to the obedience of the faith 
of the gospel., not by fire and sword, and weapons of war, 
but by the power of the word and Spirit of God, which," 
saith he, " no man doubts of." 

" Secondly, those predictions of the prophets show 
what the meek and peaceable temper will be of all true 
converts to Christianity ; not lions nor leopards, not cruel 
oppressors nor malignant opposers, nor biters one of 
another : but do not forbid them to drive ravenous wolves 
from the sheepfold, and to restrain them from devouring 
the sheep of Christ." 

Truth. In this first excellent and truly Christian an- His doctrine 

and practice 

swer, methinks the answerer may hear a voice from condemned 

* by that in- 

heaven, Out of thine own mouth will I judge thee. For 
what can be said more heavenly, by the tongues of men 
and angels, to show the heavenly, meek temper of all the 
soldiers of the Lamb of God, as also to set forth what are 
the spiritual weapons and ammunition of the holy war and 
battle of the gospel and kingdom of Jesus Christ, for the 
subduing of the nations of the world unto him ? 

Peace. And yet out of the same mouth, which should 
not be, saith James, proceeds good and evil, sweet and 
sour ; for he adds, " But this doth not forbid them to 
drive ravenous wolves from the sheepfold, and to restrain 
them from devouring the sheep of Christ." 

Truth. In these words, according to the judgment here 
maintained by him, he fights against the former truth, to 
wit, that by spiritual weapons Christ Jesus will subdue 
the nations of the earth to the obedience of the gospel: 
for by driving away these wolves, he intends not only the 
resistance and violence which the shepherds of Christ 
ought spiritually to make, but the civil resistance of the 
material swords, staves, guns, &c. Whence I argue, that 
same power that forceth the evil, or wolves, out, forceth Spiritual 
the good, the sheep, in ; for of the same or like things is 


the same or like reason: as the same arm of flesh that 
with a staff beats off a wolf, with a rod and hook brings in 
the sheep : the same dog that assaulteth and teareth the 
wolf, fright eth and forceth in the straggling sheep. 3 


Peace. But for the clearer opening of this mystery, I 
pray explicate that scripture where the Spirit of God is 
29, pleased to use this similitude of wolves, Acts xx. 29, out 

op sued. 

of which, keeping to the allegory, I shall propose these 

First, what wolves were these Paul warns of? 
Truth. Answer. Wolves literally he will not say. Nor, 
secondly, persecutors of the flock, such as the Roman 
emperors were, [or] magistrates under him. 

woh a eVwere Therefore, thirdly, such as brought in other religions 
Acts xx. 29. an( j worships^ as the Spirit of God opens it, ver. 30. 
Such as amongst themselves should speak perverse things, 
as many anti-christs did, and especially the anti-christ. 
And I ask, whether or no such as may hold forth other 
worships or religions, Jews, Turks, or anti-christians, 
may not be peaceable and quiet subjects, loving and 
helpful neighbours, fair and just dealers, true and loyal 
to the civil government? It is clear they may, from all 

! s [" Though the same arm may worthy."" Cotton s Reply, p. 86. To 

Avith a staff beat a wolf, yet it will this Mr. Williams replies, that if civil 

not with the same staff beat a sheep. power may force out of the church, it 

The same voice from heaven that may also force in. " If civil power, 

call eth the sheep by name into the to wit, by swords, whips, prisons, &c., 

sheepfold, and leadeth them by still drives out the spiritual or mystical 

waters, the same voice hath said, that wolf, the same undeniably must drive 

anti-christian wolves and seducers in the sheep." The Bloody Tenent 

shall drink of blood, for they are yet more Bloody, p. 128. J 


reason and experience in many flourishing cities and king 
doms of the world, and so offend not against the civil state 
and peace, nor incur the punishment of the civil sword, 
notwithstanding that in spiritual and mystical account 
they are ravenous and greedy wolves. 4 

Peace. 2. I query, to whom Paul gave this charge to 
watch against them, ver. 31 ? 

Truth. They were not the magistrates of the city of 
Ephesus, but the elders or ministers of the church of 
Christ, his mystical flock of sheep, at Ephesus. Unto 
them was this charge of watching given, and so con 
sequently of driving away these wolves. 

And, however that many of these charges and exhorta- charges di 

J reeled. to 

tions, given by that one Shepherd, Christ Jesus, to the Sif 
shepherds or ministers of churches, be commonly attri- ^SefyTp- 
buted and directed, by the answerer in this discourse, to 

-i . ., . T , . . , of the civil. 

the civil magistrate ; yet I desire, in the fear and holy 
presence of God, it may be inquired into, whether in all 
the will or testament of Christ there be any such word of 
Christ, by way of command, promise, or example, coun 
tenancing the governors of the civil state to meddle with 
these wolves, if in civil things peaceable and obedient. 

Peace. Truly, if this charge were given to the magis- No word of 

Christ to the 

trates at Ephesus, or any magistrates in the world, t C rJie a fie~ d 
doubtless they must be able to discern and determine, 

Jit tow s 

4 [" If those be peaceable and to civil states, when the kingdoms of 

quiet subjects, that withdraw subjects the earth shall become the kingdoms 

from subjection to Christ: if they be of our Lord; and they may do as 

loving and helpful neighbours, that good service to the civil state, who 

help men on to perdition: if they be bring the wrath of God upon them 

fair and just dealers, that wound the by their apostasy, as they that bring 

souls of the best, and kill and destroy down blessings from heaven by the 

the souls of many, if such be true profession and practice of the true 

and loyal to civil government, that religion in purity." Cotton s Reply, 

subject it to the tyranny of a foreign pp. 87, 88.] 
prelate, then it will be no advantage 


out f their own official abilities in these spiritual law 
rituipowtt questions, who are spiritual sheep, what is their food, 
agauTsT what their poison, what their properties, who their 


wolves. keepers, &c. So, on the contrary, who are wolves, what 

their properties, their haunts, their assaults, the manner 

of taking, &c., spiritually: and this beside the care and 

study of the civil laws, and the discerning of his own 

proper civil sheep, obedient sheep, &c.: as also wolfish 

oppressors, &c., whom he is bound to punish and suppress. 

dSo r ?be 3 Truth. I know that civil magistrates, in some places, 

nameoih ad j^^ Declined the name o f nea( j o f the church, and eccle- 

rhurch, and , . , . , -, 

yet practise siastical iuao;e ; vet can they not with good conscience 

the headship . . . 

or govern- decline the name if they do the work, and perform the 

meat. J 

office of determining and punishing a merely spiritual 

They must be sufficiently also able to judge in all 
spiritual causes, and that with their own, and not with 
other men s eyes, no more than they do in civil causes, 
contrary to the common practice of the governors and 
rulers of civil states, who often set up that for a religion 
or worship to God, which the clergy, or churchmen, as 
men speak, shall in their consciences agree upon. 

And if this be not so, to wit, that magistrates must not 
be spiritual judges, as some decline it in the title supreme 
head and governor, why is Gallic wont to be exclaimed 
against for refusing to be a judge in such matters as con 
cerned the Jewish worship and religion? How is he 
censured for a profane person, without conscience, &c., in 
that he would be no judge or head ? for that is all one in 
point of government. 5 

5 [" Magistrates ought to be so those heresies and blasphemies as do 

well acquainted with matters of reli- subvert the same. Their ignorance 

gion, as to discern the fundamental thereof is no discharge of their duty 

principles thereof, and the evil of before the Lord. Such wolfish 


Peace. In the third place, I query, whether the Father J h h a e 11 e i e c t t be 
who gave, and the Son who keeps the sheep, be not dev()U1 ed - 
greater than all ? Who can pluck these sheep, the elect, 
out of his hand? which answers that common objection of 
that danger of devouring, although there were no other 
weapons in the world appointed by the Lord Jesus. But, 


Fourthly, I ask, were not these elders or ministers of Christ Jesus 

the church of Ephesus sufficiently furnished, from the his shep 

herds with 
Lord Jesus, to drive away these mystical, and spiritual 

wnl VPS 9 6 drive away 

wolves. Tit. 

Truth. True it is, against the inhuman and uncivil opened! 
violence of persecutors, they were not, nor are Grod s 
children, able and provided; but to resist, drive away, 
expel, and kill spiritual and mystical wolves by the word 
of the Lord, none are fit to be Christ s shepherds who are 
not able, Tit. i. 9 11. The bishop, or overseer, must be 
able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the 
gainsayers: which gainsay ers to be by him convinced, 
that is, overcome or subdued, though it may be in them 
selves ever obstinate, they were, I say, as greedy wolves 
in Crete, as any could be at Ephesus. For so saith Paul, 
ver. 10 : they were unruly and vain talkers, deceivers, 

oppressors, and doctrines, and prac- 6 ["It is no dishonour to Christ, 

tices as they cannot discern with nor impeachment of the sufficiency 

their own eyes, it will be their sin to of the ordinances left by Christ, that 

suppress them, because they cannot in such a case his ministers of justice 

do it of faith: or to tolerate them, in the civil state, should assist his 

because they are destructive to the ministers of the gospel in the church 

souls of the people." Cotton s Reply, state." Ib. p. 91.] 
p. 89.] 

I 2 


whose mouths must le stopped, who subverted whole houses; 
and yet Titus, and every ordinary shepherd of a flock of 
Christ, had ability sufficient to defend the flock from 
spiritual and mystical wolves, without the help of the civil 

Peace. In this respect, therefore, methinks we may fitly 
allude to that excellent answer of Job to Bildad, the 

Job xxvi. 2, 

Shuhite, Job xxvi., How hast thou helped him that is 
without power? How savest thou the arm that hath no 
strength ? How hast thou counselled him that hath no wis 
dom ? How hast thou plentifully declared the thing as it is ? 
5. Lastly, I ask, whether, as men deal with wolves, these 
wolves at Ephesus were intended by Paul to be killed, 
their brains dashed out with stones, staves, halberts, guns, 
&c., in the hands of the elders of Ephesus, &c.? 7 

Truth. Doubtless, comparing spiritual things with spi 
ritual, all such mystical wolves must spiritually and mys 
tically so be slain. And the witnesses of truth, Rev. xi. 
5, speak fire, and kill all that hurt them, by that fiery 
word of Grod, and that two-edged sword in their hand, Ps. 
cxlix. 6. 

But oh ! what streams of the blood of saints have been 

TndTioody 1 anc * must be shed, until the Lamb have obtained the 

me victory, Rev. xvii. 14, by this unmerciful and in the 

state of the New Testament, when the church is spread 

all the world over most bloody doctrine, viz., the wolves 

(heretics) are to be driven away, their brains knocked out, 

and killed the poor sheep to be preserved, for whom 

Christ died, &c. 

Is not this to take Christ Jesus, and make him a 

7 ["Elders must keep within the commanded in such a case to the 

bounds of their calling; but killing, people of God, by order from the 

and dashing out of brains, which is judges. Deut. xiii. 10." Cotton s 

all one with stoning, was expressly Reply, p. 91.] 


temporal king by force? John vi. 15. Is not this to John vi. 15. 
make his kingdom of this world, to set up a civil and 
temporal Israel, to bound out new earthly, holy lands of 
Canaan, yea, and to set up a Spanish inquisition in all 
parts of the world, to the speedy destruction of thousands, 
yea, of millions of souls, and the frustrating of the sweet 
end of the coming of the Lord Jesus, to wit, to save men s 
souls (and to that end not to destroy their bodies) by his 
own blood ? 8 


Peace. The next scripture produced against such per 
secution is 2 Cor. x. 4, The weapons of our warfare are not 
carnal., but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong 
holds ; casting down imaginations., and every high thing that 
exalteth itself against the knowledge of God) and bringing 
into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ ; and 
having in a readiness to avenge all disobedience, &c. 

Unto which it is answered, "When Paul saith, The 
weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but spiritual, he 
denieth not civil weapons of justice to the civil magistrate, 
Rom. xiii., but only to church officers. And yet the 
weapons of church officers he acknowledgeth to be such, 
as though they be spiritual, yet are ready to take venge 
ance on all disobedience, 2 Cor. x. 6 : which hath refer 
ence, amongst other ordinances, to the censures of the 
church against scandalous offenders." 

8 ["Nor is it a frustrating of the be)" the bodies of those wolves, who 

sweet end of Christ s coming, which seek to destroy the souls of those for 

was to save souls, but rather a direct whom Christ died." Cotton s Reply, 

advancing of it, to destroy (if need p. 93.] 


Truth. I acknowledge that herein the Spirit of God 
denieth not civil weapons of justice to the civil magistrate, 
which the scripture he quotes, Rom. xiii., abundantly 

Yet withal, I must ask, why he here affirmeth the 
apostle denies not civil weapons of justice to the civil 
magistrate? of which there is no question, unless that, 
according to his scope of proving persecution for con 
science, he intends withal that the apostle denies not civil 
weapons of justice to the civil magistrate in spiritual and 
religious causes : the contrary whereunto, the Lord assist 
ing, I shall evince, both from this very scripture and his 
own observation, and lastly by that thirteenth of the 
Romans, by himself quoted. 

First, then, from this scripture and his own observation. 
The weapons of church officers, saith he, are such, which 
though they be spiritual, are ready to take vengeance on 
all disobedience ; which hath reference, saith he, amongst 
other ordinances, to the censures of the church against 
scandalous offenders. 
The differ- I hence observe, that there being in this scripture held 

ence of the 

. , . 

a twofold state, a civil state and a spiritual, civil 
officers and spiritual, civil weapons and spiritual weapons, 
civil vengeance and punishment and a spiritual vengeance 
civil weap- and punishment: although the Spirit speaks not here 

- x 

ens most im- 

Bpfrifuai n expressly of civil magistrates and their civil weapons, yet, 

causes: f 

these states being of different natures and considerations, 
mliitttd*, 2 as far differing as spirit from flesh, I first observe, that 
civil weapons are most improper and unfitting in matters 
of the spiritual state and kingdom, though in the civil 
state most proper and suitable. 9 

8 [" This is not unfitting nor impro- to protect them in peace, and to stave 

per, that a magistrate should draw off the disturbers and destroyers of 

his sword, though not in matters them." Cotton s Reply, p, 94.] 
spiritual, yet about matters spiritual, 



For to keep to the similitude which the Spirit useth, 
for instance to batter down a stronghold, high wall, fort, 
tower, or castle, men bring not a first and second admoni 
tion, and, after obstinacy, excommunication, which are 
spiritual weapons, concerning them that be in the church : 
nor exhortations to repent and be baptized, to believe in 
the Lord Jesus, &c., which are proper weapons to them 
that be without, &c. ; but to take a stronghold, men bring 
cannons, culverins, saker, 1 bullets, powder, muskets, 
swords, pikes, &c., and these to this end are weapons 
effectual and proportionable. 2 

On the other side, to batter down idolatry, false wor- spiritual 


ship, heresy, schism, blindness, hardness, out of the soul 
and spirit, it is vain, improper, and unsuitable to bring 
those weapons which are used by persecutors, stocks, 
whips, prisons, swords, gibbets, stakes, &c., (where these 
seem to prevail with some cities or kingdoms, a stronger 
force sets up again, what a weaker pulled down); but 
against these spiritual strongholds in the souls of men, 
spiritual artillery and weapons are proper, which are 
mighty through God to subdue and bring under the very 
thought to obedience, or else to bind fast the soul with 

1 [Saker is the peregrine hawk; obstinate .... now the magistrate 
but was applied to a piece of ordnance maketh use, not of stocks and whips, 

of three inches and a half bore, car- but of death and banishment 

rying a ball of five pounds and a half Heretics and idolaters may be re- 
weight.] strained from the open practice and 

2 [" It is far from me to allow the profession of their wickedness by the 
civil magistrate to make use of his sword of justice, and such weapons of 
civil weapons to batter down idolatry righteousness." Cotton s Reply, p. 
and heresy in the souls of men, . . . 95.] 

but if the idolater or heretic grow 



chains of darkness, and lock it up in the prison of unbelief 
and hardness to eternity. 

^ ^ observe that as civil weapons are improper in this 
perfbt p in- business, and never able to effect aught in the soul: so 
spStua? m although they were proper, yet they are unnecessary ; for 
if, as the Spirit here saith, and the answerer grants, 
spiritual weapons in the hand of church officers are able 
and ready to take vengeance on all disobedience, that is, 
able and mighty, sufficient and ready for the Lord s work, 
either to save the soul, or to kill the soul of whomsoever 
be the party or parties opposite ; in which respect I may 
again remember that speech of Job, How hast thou helped 
him that hath no power ? Job xxvi. 2. 

NO earthly Peace. Offer this, as Malachi once spake, to the gover- 
govemors nors, the kings of the earth, when thev besiege, beleaguer, 

will be so 

assau lt great cities, castles, forts, &c., should any 

to_sCTvethe g^^ pretending his service bring store of pins, sticks, 
straws, bulrushes, to beat and batter down stone walls, 
mighty bulwarks, what might his expectation and reward 
be, but at least the censure of a man distract, beside 
himself? &c. 

Truth. What shall we then conceive of His displeasure, 

PS. xiv. 4. W h i s the Chief or Prince of the kings of the earth, and 
rides upon the word of truth and meekness, which is the 
white horse, Rev. vi. and Rev. xix., with his holy wit- 

SJop^rs- te nesses J the white troopers upon white horses, when to his 
help and aid men bring and add such unnecessary, impro 
per, and weak munition ? 

spiritual Will the Lord Jesus (did He ever in his own person 


tion, Eph,vi. practise, or did he appoint to) join to his breastplate of 
righteousness, the breastplate of iron and steel? to the 

fitly joined 1 helmet of righteousness and salvation in Christ, a helmet 
and crest of iron, brass, or steel ? a target of wood to His 
shield of faith ? [to] His two-edged sword, coming forth of 


the mouth of Jesus, the material sword, the work of 
smiths and cutlers? or a girdle of shoe-leather to the 
girdle of truth ? &c. Excellently fit and proper is that A n n alam to 
alarm and item, Ps. ii. 10, Be wise, therefore, O ye kings 
especially those ten horns, Rev. xvii., who, under pretence 
of fighting for Christ Jesus, give their power to the beast 
against Him and be warned, ye judges of the earth : kiss the 
Son, that is, with subjection and affection, acknowledge 
Him only the King and Judge of souls, in that power 
bequeathed to His ministers and churches, lest his wrath be 
kindled, yea, but a little; then, blessed are they that trust 
in Him. 


Peace. Now, in the second place, concerning that scrip- concerning 

the civil 

ture, Rom. xiii., which it pleased the answerer to quote, jjjgjjf 
and himself, and so many excellent servants of God have Swld. di8 " 
insisted upon to prove such persecution for conscience : 
how have both he and they wrested this scripture, not as 
Peter writes of the wicked, to their eternal, yet to their 
own and other s temporal destruction, by civil wars and 
combustions in the world ? 

My humble request, therefore, is to the Father of lights, 
to send out the bright beams of the Sun of righteousness, 
and to scatter the mist which that old serpent, the great 
juggler, Satan, hath raised about this holy scripture, and 
my request to you, divine Truth, is for your care and 
pains to enlighten and clear this scripture. 

Truth. First, then, upon the serious examination of this Rom xiii 
whole scripture, it will appear, that from the 9th verse of 3* TH 
the 12th chapter to the end of this whole 13th chapter, d 


the Spirit handles the duties of the saints in the careful 
observation of the second table in their civil conversation, 
or walking towards men, and speaks not at all of any 
point or matter of the first table concerning the kingdom 
of the Lord Jesus. 3 

For, having in the whole epistle handled that great 
point of free justification by the free grace of God in 
Christ, in the beginning of the 12th chapter he exhorts 
the believers to give and dedicate themselves unto the 
Lord, both in soul and body ; and unto the 9th verse of 
the 12th chapter he expressly mentioneth their conversa 
tion in the kingdom, or body, of Christ Jesus, together 
with the several officers thereof. 

Rom! c xm. f And from tne 9tn verse to the end of the 13tn [chapter], 
he plainly discourseth of their civil conversation and 
walking one toward another, and with all men, from 
whence he hath fair occasion to speak largely concerning 
their subjection to magistrates in the 13th chapter. 

Hence it is, that [at] ver. 7 of this 13th chapter, Paul 
exhorts to performance of love to all men, magistrates and 

Love to man subjects, vers. 7, 8, Re7ider ) therefore, to all their dues; 

the duty of 

the \vhoie tribute to ivhom tribute is due ; custom to whom custom ; fear 

second table. 

to whom fear ; honour to whom honour. Owe nothing to any 
man., but to love one another : for he that loveth another hath 
fulfilled the law. 

If any man doubt, as the papists speak, whether a man 
may perfectly fulfil the law, every man of sound judgment 
is ready to answer him, that these words, He that loveth 
hath fulfilled the law, concerneth not the whole law in the 
first table, that is, the worship and kingdom of God in 

3 [" This inference will not here violation, no, not of the weightiest 
follow: That, therefore, magistrates duties of the first table." Cotton s 
have nothing to do to punish an) r Reply, p. 96.] 

How love 
fulfilleth the 


Secondly, That the apostle speaks not here of perfect 
observation of the second table, without failing in word or 
act toward men, but lays open the sum and substance of 
the law, which is love ; and that he that walks by the rule 
of love toward all men, magistrates and subjects, he hath 
rightly attained unto what the law aims at, and so in 
evangelical obedience fulfils and keeps the law. 

Hence, therefore, again in the 9th verse, having dis 
coursed of the fifth command in this point of superiors, 
he makes all the rest of the commandments of the second 
table, which concern our walking with man, viz., Thou 
shalt not kill ; thou shalt not commit adultery ; thou shalt not 
steal ; thou shalt not bear false ivitness , thou shalt not covet: 
and if there be any other commandment to be briefly com 
prehended in this saying, namely, thou shalt love thy neighbour 
as thyself. 

And verse 10, Love worketh no ill to his neighbour, there 
fore, love is the fulfilling of the law, that is, as before, the 
law concerning our civil conversation toward all men, 
magistrates or governors, and fellow subjects of all 


Peace. Although the scripture is sufficient to make the 
man of God perfect, and the fool wise to salvation, and Rom . xili 
our faith in God must be only founded upon the rbckS 
Christ, and not upon the sand of men s judgments and heidVeSe- 

. . -r i n i i cution for 

opinions : yet, as Jraul allegeth the judgment and sayings conscience. 
of unbelievers for their conviction, out of their own 
tenents and grants, " So I pray you to set down the words 
of one or two, not unbelievers in their persons, but excel- 


lent and precious servants and witnesses of God in their 
times, whose names are sweet and precious to all that fear 
God, who,, although their judgment ran in the common 
stream, viz., ( That magistrates were keepers of the two 
tables, defenders of the faith against heretics, and, 
notwithstanding whatever they have written for defence 
of their judgments, yet the light of truth so evidently 
shined upon their souls in this scripture, that they abso 
lutely denied the 13th of the Romans to concern any 
matter of the first table. 

Truth. First, I shall produce that excellent servant of 

judgment of 

Rom.xiu. Q QC | 5 Q a i v i n5 w ] 10? upon this 13th to the Romans, writes, 4 
Tota autem hasc disputatio est de civilibus praefecturis ; 
itaque frustra inde sacrilegam suam tyrannidem stabilire 
moliuntur, qui dominatum in conscientias exerceant : 
(C But," saith he, " this whole discourse concerneth civil 
magistrates, and, therefore, in vain do they who exercise 
power over consciences, go about from this place to establish 
their sacrilegious tyranny." 5 

God s people Peace. I know how far most men, and especially the 
founds sheep of Jesus, will fly from the thought of exercising 
secutors. er tyranny over conscience, that happily they will disclaim 
the dealing of all with men s consciences : yet, if the acts 
and statutes which are made by them concerning the wor 
ship of God be attended to, their profession and that out 
of zeal according to the pattern of that ceremonial and 
figurative state of Israel to suffer no other religion nor 
worship in their territories, but one their profession and 

* [Comment, in Rom. xiii. 5, torn. was put to death for his heresies at 

v. p. 200, ed. Tholuck.] Geneva by his procurement : Hoc 

5 [" But how far off Calvin s judg- uno, saith he, contentus sum, Christi 
ment was to restrain civil magistrates adventu ; nee mutatum esse ordinem 
from meddling in matters of religion, politicum, nee de magistratuum officio 
let him interpret himself in his own quicquam detractum." Cotton s Re 
words, in his answer to Servetus, who ply, p. 98.] 


practice to defend their faith from reproach and blasphemy 
of heretics by civil weapons, and all that from this very 
13th of the Romans I say, if these particulars and others, 
be with fear and trembling, in the presence of the Most 
High, examined, the wonderful deceit of their own hearts 
shall appear unto them, and how guilty they will appear 
to be of wresting this scripture before the tribunal of the 
Most High. 

Truth. Again, Calvin, speaking concerning fulfilling of 
the law by love, writes thus on the same place : Sed 
Paulus in totam legem non respicit ; tantum de officiis 
loquitur, quas nobis erga proximum demandantur a lege : 
That is, " Paul hath not respect unto the whole law, he 
speaks only of those duties which the law commands to 
wards our neighbours." And it is manifest, that in this 
place by our neighbours he means high and low, magis 
trates and subjects, unto whom we ought to walk by the 
rule of love, paying unto every one their due. 

Again, Ca3terum Paulus hie tantum meminet secundae 
tabular, quia de ea tantum erat qua3stio : " But Paul here 
only mentioneth the second table, because the question 
was only concerning that." 

And again, Quod autem repetit, complementum legis caivin con- 
esse dilectionem, intellige (ut prius) de ea lesds parte, quod the first 1 

table, con- 

hommum societatem spectat r Prior enim leeris tabula 
quae est de cultu Dei minime hie attingitur : " But in | 
that he repeateth, that love is the fulfilling of the law, 
understand as before, that he speaks of that part of the 
law which respects human society ; for the first table of 
the law, which concerneth the worship of God, is not in 
the least manner here touched." 6 

After Calvin, his successor in Geneva, that holy and 

6 [Comment, in vers. 8 ; 10, torn. v. pp. 201, 202.] 

God s \vor- 

|JP> |* Ilot 


l earne d Beza, upon the word avaK^a\aiovrai, if there be 
any other commandment it is summed up in this, thou shalt 
love thy neighbour as thyself, writes thus : 7 Tota lex nihil 
aliud quam amorem Dei et proximi praecipet ; sed tamen 
cum apostolus hoe loco de mutuis hominum officiis dis- 
serat, legis vocabulum ad secundum tabulam restringendam 
puto. " The whole law," saith he, "commands nothing else 
but the love of God, and yet, nevertheless, since the 
apostle in this place discourseth of the duties of men one 
toward another, I think this term law ought to be 
restrained to the second table." 3 


Peace. I pray now proceed to the second argument from 
this scripture, against the use of civil weapons in matters 
of religions, and spiritual worship. 

Truth. The Spirit of God here commands subjection 
and obedience to higher powers, even to the Roman 
emperors and all subordinate magistrates; and yet the 
emperors and governors under them were strangers from 
the life of God in Christ, yea, most averse and opposite, 
yea, cruel and bloody persecutors of the name and 
followers of Jesus : and yet unto these, is this subjection 
and obedience commanded. Now true it is, that as the 

7 [Bezse Nov. Test, in loc. edit. second table. . . It was neither the 
Londini, 1585.] word nor judgment of Calvin or 

8 [" Though idolatry, and bias- Beza, so to interpret Rom. xiii. as to 
phemy, and heresy, be sins against exempt magistrates from power of 
the first table : yet to punish these punishing heresy and idolatry." 
with civil penalties is a duty of the Cotton s Reply, p. 99.] 


civil magistrate is apt not to content himself with the 
majesty of an earthly throne, crown, sword, sceptre, but 
to seat himself in the throne of David in the church : so 
God s people, and it may be in Paul s time, considering 
their high and glorious preferment and rprivileges by Jesus 
Christ, were apt to be much tempted to despise civil 
governors, especially such as were ignorant of the Son of 
God, and persecuted him in his servants. 

Now then I argue, if the apostle should have commanded Paul writes 

not to the 

this subjection unto the Roman emperors and Roman Roman 

governors to 

magistrates in spiritual causes, as to defend the truth f r e ^ d a ^ h d e to 
which they were no way able to discern, but persecuted ]J!s. lsh here " 
and upon trust from others no magistrate, not persuaded 
in his own conscience, is to take it : 

Or else to punish heretics, whom then also they must 
discern and judge, or else condemn them, as the Jews 
would have Pilate condemn the Lord Jesus, upon the 
sentence of others I say, if Paul should have, in this 
scripture, put this work upon these Roman governors, and 
commanded the churches of Christ to have yielded sub 
jection in any such matters, he must, in the judgment of 
all men, have put out the eye of faith, and reason, and 
sense, at once. 9 

9 [" In giving them a power and we allow civil magistrates to be judges 

charge to execute vengeance on evil are so fundamental and palpable, 

doers, it behoved them to inquire and that no magistrate, studious of reli- 

listen after true religion, to hear and gion, but, if he have any spiritual 

try all, and upon serious, deliberate, discerning, he cannot but judge of 

and just scrutiny, to hold fast that such gross corruptions as are insuf- 

which is good, and so prevent the ferable in religion." Cotton s Reply, 

disturbance thereof by the contrary. p. 101. 
. . . The cases of religion, wherein 



Paul s ap- Peace. It is said by some, why then did Paul himself, 

peal to Cse- J 

sar discus- j^ G ^ s xxv> ]_ ^ appeal to Caesar, unless that Caesar, (though 
he was not, yet) he ought to have been a fit judge in such 
matters ? 

if Paul had Truth. I answer, if Paul, in this appeal to Caesar, had 
caesar in referred and .submitted simply and properly the cause of 

spiritual r J 

had n fom h mit- Christ, his ministry and ministration, to the Roman 
emperor s tribunal, knowing him to be an idolatrous 
stranger from the true God, and a lion-like, bloody perse 
cutor of the Lord Jesus, the Lamb of God, I say, let it 
be considered, whether or no he had committed these five 
evils : 

The first, against the dimmest light of reason, in ap 
pealing to darkness to judge light, to unrighteousness to 
judge righteousness, [to] the spiritually blind to judge and 
end the controversy concerning heavenly colours. 

Secondly, against the cause of religion, which, if con 
demned by every inferior idolater, must needs be con 
demned by the Caesars themselves, who, Nebuchadnezzar- 
like, set up their state images or religions, commanding 
the world s uniformity of worship to them. 

Thirdly, against the holy state and calling of the 
Christians themselves, who, by virtue of their subjection 
to Christ, even the least of them, are in spiritual things 
above the highest potentates or emperors in the world 
who continue in enmity against, or in an ignorant, natural 
state without Christ Jesus. This honour, or high exalta 
tion have all his holy ones, to bind, not literally but 
spiritually, their kings in chains, and their nobles in links 
of iron. Ps. cxlix. 8. 


Fourthly, against his own calling, apostleship, or office 
of ministry, unto which Caesar himself and all potentates, 
in spiritual and soul-matters, ought to have submitted ; 
and unto which, in controversies of Christ s church and 
kingdom, Caesar himself ought to have appealed, the 
church of God being built upon the foundation of the 
apostles and prophets. Eph. ii. 20. 

And, therefore, in case that any of the Roman Emperors 
governors, or the emperor himself, had been humbled and if chmt- 

1 m % ians, subject 

converted to Christianity by the preaching of Christ, were J 1 e g h a e n J pOB ~ 
not they themselves bound to subject themselves unto the m 

power of the Lord Jesus in the hands of the apostles and thmg8 
churches, and might not the apostles and churches have 
refused to have baptized, or washed them into the profes 
sion of Christ Jesus, upon the apprehension of their 
unworthiness ? 

Or, if received into Christian fellowship, were they not 
to stand at the bar of the Lord Jesus in the church, con 
cerning either their opinions or practices ? were they not 
to be cast out and delivered unto Satan by the power of 
the Lord Jesus, if, after once and twice admonition, they 
persist obstinately, as faithfully and impartially as if they 
were the meanest in the empire ? Yea, although the 
apostles, the churches, the elders, or governors thereof, 
were poor and mean, despised persons in civil respects, 
and were themselves bound to yield all faithful and loyal 
obedience to such emperors and governors in civil things. 

Were they not, if Christians, bound themselves to have 
submitted to those spiritual decrees of the apostles and 
elders, as well as the lowest and meanest members of 
Christ ? Acts xvi. And if so, how should Paul appeal in 
spiritual things to C^sar, or write to the churches of Jesus 
to submit to them [in] Christian or spiritual matters ? 

Fifthly, if Paul had appealed to Caesar in spiritual 


respects, he had greatly profaned the holy name of God in 
holy things, in so improper and vain a prostitution of 
spiritual things to carnal and natural judgments, which 
are not able to comprehend spiritual matters, which are 
alone spiritually discerned. 1 Cor. ii. 14. 

Lawful ap- And yet Ca3sar, as a civil, supreme magistrate, ought 
things to to defend Paul from civil violence, and slanderous accusa- 

civil magis- 

tions about sedition, mutiny, civil disobedience, &c. And 
* in that sense, who doubts but God s people may appeal to 
the Roman Csesar, an Egyptian Pharaoh, a Philistian 
Abimelech, an Assyrian Nebuchadnezzar, the great Mo 
gul, Prester John, the great Turk, or an Indian Sachem ?* 


Peace. Which is the third argument against the civil 
magistrates power in spiritual and soul-matters out of this 
scripture, Rom. xiii. ? 

Truth. I dispute from the nature of the magistrates 
weapons, ver. 4. He hath a sword, which he bears not 
in vain, delivered to him, as I acknowledge from God s 
appointment in the free consent and choice of the subjects 
for common good. 

We must distinguish of swords. 

1 ["Paul did submit to Caesar s the things whereof they did accuse 

judgment-seat the trial of his inno- him, were offences against the law of 

cency, as well in matters of religion the Jews, and against the temple, as 

as in civil conversation. For he well as against Caesar. And offences 

pleadeth his innocency, that he was against the law of the Jews, and 

guilty of none of those things where- against the temple, were matters of 

of they did accuse him, and for trial religion." Cotton s Reply, p. 103.] 
hereof he appealeth to Csesar. Now 

We find four sorts of swords mentioned in the New 

Tpctarnonf tionedinthe 

.testament. New Testa- 

First, the sword of persecution, which Herod stretched m< 
forth against James, Acts xii. 1, 2. 

Secondly, the sword of God s Spirit, expressly said to 
be the word of God, Ephes. vi. [17]. A sword of two 
edges, carried in the mouth of Christ, Rev. i. [16], which 
is of strong and mighty operation, piercing between the 
bones and the marrow, between the soul and the spirit, 
Heb. iv. [12]. 

Thirdly, the great sword of war and destruction, given 
to him that rides that terrible red horse of war, so that he 
takes peace from the earth, and men kill one another, as is 
most lamentably true in the slaughter of so many hundred 
thousand souls within these few years in several parts of 
Europe, our own and others. 

None of these three swords are intended in this 

Therefore, fourthly, there is a civil sword, called the The civil 
sword of civil justice, which being of a material, civil 
nature, for the defence of persons, estates, families, liberties 
of a city or civil state, and the suppressing of uncivil or 
injurious persons or actions, by such civil punishment, it 
cannot, according to its utmost reach and capacity, now 
under Christ, when all nations are merely civil, without 
any such typical, holy respect upon them, as was upon 
Israel, a national church I say, cannot extend to spiritual 
and soul-causes, spiritual and soul-punishment, which be 
longs to that spiritual sword with two edges, the soul- 
piercing, in soul- saving, or soul-killing, the word of 
God. 2 

2 j- "What though the sword be of offenders in bodily life and civil liber- 
a material and civil nature ? ... It ties, but also the offenders against 
can reach to punish not only the spiritual life and soul-liberties. . . . 

K 2 



Truth. A fourth argument from this scripture, I take 
Tribute, cus- in the sixth verse, from tribute, custom, &c.: which is a 

torn, &c., 

ereiy civil me relv civil reward, or recompence, for the magistrates 
work! vil work. Now as the wages are, such is the work ; but the 
wages are merely civil custom, tribute, &c.: not the 
contributions of the saints or churches of Christ, proper 
to the spiritual and Christian state. And such work only 
must the magistrate attend upon, as may properly deserve 
such civil wages, reward, or recompence. 

Magistrates Lastly, that the Spirit of God never intended to direct, 
or warrant, the magistrate to use his power in spiritual 
affairs and religious worship, I argue from the term or 
title it pleaseth the wisdom of God to give such civil 
officers, to wit, ver. 6, God s ministers. 

Now at the very first blush, no man denies a double 

The one appointed by Christ Jesus in his church, to 

tual minis- 

tr y- gather, to govern, receive in, cast out, and order all the 

affairs of the church, the house, city, or kingdom of God, 
Eph. iv. ; 1 Cor. xii. 

The civil Secondly, a civil ministry, or office, merely human and 

service. civil, which men agree to constitute, called therefore a 

human creation, 1 Pet. ii. [13], and is as true and lawful 

in those nations, cities, kingdoms, &c., which never heard 

of the true God, nor his holy Son Jesus, as in any part of 

If the sword of the judge or ma- kings of Israel in the Old Testament, 
gistrate be the sword of the Lord, the same lieth now upon Christian 
why may it not be drawn forth, as kings in the New Testament, to pro- 
well to defend his subjects in true re- tect the same in their churches. 1 
ligion, as in civil peace ? . . . What Cotton s Reply, pp. 104, 105.] 
holy care of religion lay upon the 


the world beside, where the name of Jesus is most taken 

From all which premises, viz., that the scope of the 
Spirit of God in this chapter is to handle the matters of 
the second table having handled the matters of the first, 
in the twelfth: since the magistrates of whom Paul 
wrote, were natural, ungodly, persecuting, and yet lawful 
magistrates, and to be obeyed in all lawful civil things : 
since all magistrates are God s ministers, essentially civil, 
bounded to a civil work, with civil weapons, or instru 
ments, and paid or rewarded with civil rewards : from all 
which, I say, I undeniably collect, that this scripture is 
generally mistaken, and wrested from the scope of God s 
Spirit, and the nature of the place, and cannot truly be 
alleged by any for the power of the civil magistrate to be 
exercised in spiritual and soul-matters. 


Peace. Against this I know many object, out of the What is to 
fourth verse of this chapter, that the magistrate is to ^ od R b y m 
avenge, or punish, evil : from whence is gathered that xiii> 4 - 
heresy, false Christs, false churches, false ministries, false 
seals, being evil, ought to be punished civilly, &c. 

Truth. I answer, that the word KOKOV is generally 
opposed to civil goodness, or virtue, in a commonwealth, 
and not to spiritual good, or religion, in the church. 

Secondly, I have proved from the scope of the place, 
that here is not intended evil against the spiritual, or 
Christian estate handled in the twelfth chapter, but evil 
against the civil state in this thirteenth, properly falling 
under the cognizance of the civil minister of God, the 


magistrate, and punishable by that civil sword of his as an 
incivility, disorder, or breach of that civil order, peace, 
and civility, unto which all the inhabitants of a city, town, 
or kingdom, oblige themselves. 

Peace. I have heard, that the elders of the New England 
churches who yet out of this thirteenth of Romans maintain 
persecution grant 3 that the magistrate is to preserve the 
peace and welfare of the state, and therefore that he ought 
not to punish such sins as hurt not his peace. In par 
ticular, they say, the magistrate may not punish secret 
sins in the soul : nor such sins as are yet handling in the 
church, in a private way : nor such sins which are private 
in families and therefore, they say, the magistrate trans- 
gresseth to prosecute complaints of children against their 
parents, servants against masters, wives against husbands, 
(and yet this proper to the civil state). Nor such sins as 
are between the members and churches themselves. 

And they confess, that if the magistrate punish, and 
the church punish, there will be a greater rent in their 

Truth. From thence, sweet Peace, may we well observe, 

First, the magistrate is not to punish all evil, according 
to this their confession. 

The distinction of private and public evil will not here 
avail; because such as urge that term evil, viz., that the 
magistrate is to punish evil, urge it strictly, eo nomine; 
because heresy, blasphemy, false church, false ministry, is 
evil, as well as disorder in a civil state. 
some give Secondly, I observe, how they take away from the 
magistrate that which is proper to his cognizance, as the 

what is not . ., i M i J.T 

his, and complaints of servants, children, wives, against their 

3 [In " A Model of Church and Williams, in some subsequent chap- 
Civil Power sent to the Church at ters of this volume.] 
Salem," examined at length by Mr. 


parents, masters,, husbands, &c. Families as families, 
being as stones which make up the common building, and 
are properly the object of the magistrates care, in respect 
of civil government, civil order, and obedience. 4 


Peace. I pray now, lastly, proceed to the author s reason 5 
why Christ s disciples should be so far from persecuting : 
that they ought to bless them that curse them, and pray 
for them that persecute them, because of the freeness of 
God s grace, and the deepness of his counsels, calling them 
that are enemies, persecutors, no people, to become meek 
lambs, the sheep and people of God, according to 1 Pet. ii. 
10, You which were not a people, are now a people, &c.; and 
Matt. xx. 6, some come at the last hour, which if they 
were cut off because they came not sooner, would be pre 
vented, and so should never come. 

Unto this reason, the answerer is pleased thus to reply. 6 

First, in general ; we must not do evil that good may 
come thereof. Toleration 

Secondly, in particular, he affirmeth, "that it is evil to di! 
tolerate seditious evil doers, seducing teachers, scandalous 

4 ["When we say, the magistrate 6 [See before, p. 11.] 

is an avenger of evil, we mean of all " [See before, p. 24.] 

sorts or kinds of evil : not every 7 Upon this point hath Mr. John 

particular of each kind. Secret evils, Goodwin excellently of late discoursed, 

in thought, or affection, yea, in action [In " M. S. to A. S., with a Plea for 

too, but neither confessed, nor proved Libertie of Conscience in a Church 

by due witnesses, the magistrate can- Way/ &c. Lond. 1644. 4 to. pp. 1 10. 

not punish." Cotton s Reply, p. 110.] See Introduction to this volume.] 


livers ;" and for proof of this, he quotes Christ s reproof to 
the angel of the church at Pergamos, for tolerating them 
that hold the doctrine of Balaam ; and against the church 
of Thyatira, for tolerating Jezebel to teach and seduce, 
Kev. ii. 14, 20. 

Truth. I answer, first, by assenting to the general 
proposition, that it is most true, like unto Christ Jesus 
himself, a sure foundation, 1 Cor. iii. 11. Yet what is 
built upon it, I hope by God s assistance to make it 
appear, is but hay and stubble, dead and withered, not 
suiting that golden foundation, nor pleasing to the Father 
of mercies, nor comfortable to the souls of men. 

It is evil, saith he, to tolerate notorious evil doers, 
seducing teachers, scandalous livers. 

In which speech I observe two evils : 

First, that this proposition is too large and general, 
because the rule admits of exception, and that according 
to the will of God. 
Evil is ai- 1 . It is true, that evil cannot alter its nature, but it is 

ways evil, 

y *on per 5 is " a ^ wa y ev ^> as darkness is alway darkness, yet, 
be a7 ood Case 2. It must be remembered, that it is one thing to com 
mand, to conceal, to counsel, to approve evil, and another 
thing to permit and suffer evil with protestation against it, 
or dislike of it, at least without approbation of it. 

Lastly, this sufferance, or permission, of evil, is not for 
its own sake, but for the sake of good, which puts a respect 
of goodness upon such permission. 
God s won- Hence it is, that for God s own glory s sake, which is the 

derful toler- , 1 ,, - ,. . mi 

ation. . highest good, he endures, that is, permits, or suiters, the 
vessels of wrath, Rom. ix. 22. And therefore, although he 
be of pure eyes and can behold no iniquity, yet his pure 
eye patiently and quietly beholds and permits all the 
idolatries and profanations, all the thefts and rapines, all the 
whoredoms and abominations, all the murders and poison- 


ings ; and yet, I say, for Ms glory s sake, he is patient, and 
long permits. 

Hence for his people s sake (which is the next good, in 
his Son), he is oftentimes pleased to permit and suffer the 
wicked to enjoy a longer reprieve. Therefore he gave 
Paul all the lives that were in the ship, Acts xxvii. 24. 

Therefore, he would not so soon have destroyed Sodom, 
but granted a longer permission, had there been but ten 
righteous, Gen. xviii. 32. Therefore, Jer. v. 1, had he 
found some to have stood in the gap, he would have 
spared others. Therefore gave he Jezebel a time, or 
space, Rev. ii. 21. 

Therefore, for his glory s sake, hath he permitted longer 
great sinners, who afterward have perished in their 
season, as we see in the case of Ahab, the Mnevites, 
and Amorites, &c. 

Hence it pleased the Lord, not only to permit the Deut xxiy 
many evils against his own honourable ordinance of mar 
riage in the world, but was pleased, after a wonderful 
manner, to suffer that sin of many wives in Abraham, 
Jacob, David, Solomon, yea, with some expressions which 
seem to give approbation, as 2 Sam. xii. 8, 24. 8 

Peace. It may be said, this is no pattern for us, because 
God is above law, and an absolute sovereign. 

Truth. I answer, although we find him sometimes dis 
pensing with his law, yet we never find him deny himself, 
or utter a falsehood : and therefore when it crosseth not 

8 [" I willingly grant, it may be and an evil may be tolerated to pre- 

lawful for a civil magistrate to tolerate vent other greater evils In 

notorious evil doers in two cases, ordinary cases it is not lawful to 

under which all the examples will tolerate a seducing false teacher, 

fall, which the discusser allegeth; . . . The commandment of God is clear 

when the magistrates hand is too and strong, Deut. xiii. 8, 9 

weak and feeble, and the offenders Capitalia Mosis politica sunt aeterna." 

adherents too great and strong .... Cotton s Reply, p. 113.] 


an absolute rule to permit and tolerate as in the case of 
the permission of the souls and consciences of all men in 
the world I have shown, and shall show further, it doth 
not, it will not, hinder our being holy as he is holy, in all 
manner of conversation. 


Peace. It will yet be said, it pleaseth God to permit 
adulteries, murders, poisons : God suffers men, like fishes, 
to devour each other, Hab. i. 14; the wicked to flourish, 
Jer. xii. 1 ; yea, sends the tyrants of the world to destroy 
the nations, and plunder them of their riches, Isa. x. [5, 
6.] Should men do so, the world would be a wilderness ; 
and beside we have command for zealous execution of 
justice, impartially, speedily. 
TWO sorts of Truth. I answer, we find two sorts of commands, both 


Moses and fr m Moses and from Christ, the two great prophets and 
messengers from the living God, the one the type or 
figure of the later. Moses gave positive rules, both 
spiritual and civil; yet also, he gave some not positive 
but permissive, for the common good. So the Lord Jesus 
expoundeth it. 

For whereas, the Pharisees urged it, that Moses corn- 
Matt, xix. man( j e( i to give a bill of divorcement and to put away, the 
Lord Jesus expoundeth it, Moses for the hardness of your 
hearts suffered, or permitted, Matt. xix. 7, 8. 
The permis- This was a permissive command, universal to all Israel, 

sion of r 

^ or a g enera l g 00 ^ m preventing the continual fires of 
dissensions and combustions in families: yea, it may be 
murders, poisons, adulteries, which that people, as the 
wisdom of God foresaw, was apt, out of the hardness of 


their heart, to break out into, were it not for this prevent 
ing permission. 

Hence it was, that for a further public good sake, and 
the public safety, David permitted Joab, a notorious 
malefactor, and Shimei and Adonijah, &c. And civil 
states and governors, in like cases, have and do permit 
and suffer what neither David nor any civil governors 
ought to do or have done, were it not to prevent [the 
hazard of the whole, in the shedding of much innocent 
blood, together with the nocent, in civil combustions. 

Peace. It may be said, Joab, Shimei, Adonijah, &c., 
were only, as it were, reprieved for a time, and proves 
only that a season ought to be attended for their punish 

Truth. Answ. I answer, I produce not these instances 
to prove a permission of tares anti-christians, heretics 
which other scriptures abundantly prove, but to make it 
clear, against the answerer s allegation, that even in the 
civil state permission of notorious evil doers, even against 
the civil state, is not disapproved by God himself and the 
wisest of his servants in its season. 


Truth. I proceed. Hence it is that some generals of 
armies, and governors of cities, towns, &c., do, and, as 
those former instances prove, lawfully permit some evil 
persons and practices. As for instance, in the civil state, 
usury : for the preventing of a greater evil in the civil 
body, as stealing, robbing, murdering, perishing of the 
poor, and the hindrance, or stop, of commerce and dealing permitted. 
in the commonwealth. Just like physicians, wisely per- 


mitting noisome humours, and sometimes diseases, when 
the cure or purging would prove more dangerous to the 
destruction of the whole, a weak or crazy body, and 
specially at such a time. 

Thus, in many other instances, it pleased the Father of 
lights, the God of Israel, to permit that people, especially 
in the matter of their demand of a king, wherein he pleaded 
that himself as well as Samuel was rejected. 

Permission This ground, to wit, for a common good of the whole, is 
?nthefi a dd the same with that of the Lord Jesus commanding the 
tares to be permitted in the world; because, otherwise, 

i of the the good wheat should be endangered to be rooted up out 

good wheat. 

2. of the O f the field or world also, as well as the tares. And 

whole world, 

it h seif. eld - therefore, for the good sake, the tares, which are indeed 
evil, were to be permitted : yea, and for the general good 
of the whole world, the field itself, which, for want of this 
obedience to that command of Christ, hath been and is 
laid waste and desolate with the fury and rage of civil 
war, professedly raised and maintained, as all states pro 
fess, for the maintenance of one true religion after the 
pattern of that typical land of Canaan and to suppress 
and pluck up these tares of false prophets and false pro 
fessors, anti-christians, heretics, &c., out of the world. 

Hence illce lachrymce: hence Germany s, Ireland s, and 
now England s, tears and dreadful desolations, which ought 
to have been, and may be for the future, by obedience to 
the command of the Lord Jesus, concerning the per 
mission of tares to live in the world, though not in the 
church I say, ought to have been, and may be mercifully 



Peace. I pray descend now to the second evil which you 
observe in the answerer s position, viz., that it would be 
evil to tolerate notorious evil doers, seducing teachers, &c. 

Truth. I say, the evil is, that he most improperly and 
confusedly joins and couples seducing teachers with 
scandalous livers. 

Peace. But is it not true, that the world is full of 
seducing teachers? and is it not true, that seducing teachers 
are notorious evil doers ? 

Truth. I answer : far be it from me to deny either. 
And yet, in two things, I shall discover the great evil of 
this joining and coupling seducing teachers and scandalous 
livers, as one adequate or proper object of the magistrates 
care and work to suppress and punish. 

First, it is not an homogeneal (as we speak), but an 
heterogeneal commixture of joining together of things 
most different in kinds and natures, as if they were both 
of one consideration. 

For who knows not but that many seducing teachers, 

. . Seducing 

either ot the paganish, Jewish, Turkish, or anti-christian teachers, ei 
ther pagan, 

religion, may be clear and free from scandalous offences in Jjj! 
their life, as also from disobedience to the civil laws of a S^ 
state ? Yea, the answerer himself hath elsewhere granted, 
that if the laws of a civil state be not broken, the peace 
is not broken. 9 

Again, who knows not that a seducing teacher properly 

9 [" It will be hard for the discus- shall excommunicate the civil magis- 

ser to find anti-christian seducers trate, and prescribe the civil state to 

clear and free from disobedience to the invasion of foreigners." Cotton s 

the civil laws of a state, in case that Reply, p. 115.] 
anti-christ, to whom they are sworn, 

subjects to 
the civil 


sins against a church or spiritual estate and laws of it, and, 
therefore, ought most properly and only to be dealt withal 
in such a way, and by such weapons, as the Lord Jesus 
himself hath appointed; gainsayers, opposites, and diso- 
bedients either within his church or without to be con 
vinced, repelled, resisted, and slain withal ? 

scandalous Whereas, scandalous offenders against parents, against 
against the magistrates in the fifth command, and so against the life, 

civil state, 

chastity, goods, or good name in the rest, is properly 
transgression against the civil state and common weal, or 
the worldly state of men: and, therefore, consequently, 
if the world, or civil state, ought to be preserved by civil 
government or governors, such scandalous offenders ought 
not to be tolerated, but suppressed, according to the 
wisdom and prudence of the said government. 

Secondly, as there is a fallacious conjoining and con 
founding together persons of several kinds and natures, 
. cotton s differing as much as spirit and flesh, heaven and earth, each 

et justi- . . . p 

cruel pr^- 6 & m Otn6r : SO 1S ^QYQ ^ S ^ 6Ilt all( * im P llClt justification Ot 

all the unrighteous and cruel proceedings of Jews and 
Gentiles against all the prophets of God, the Lord Jesus 
himself, and all his messengers and witnesses, whom their 
accusers have ever so coupled and mixed with notorious 
evil doers and scandalous livers. 

Elijah was a troubler of the state ; Jeremy weakened 
the hand of the people; yea, Moses made the people 
neglect their work ; the Jews built the rebellious and bad 
city; the three worthies regarded not the command of 
the king ; Christ Jesus deceived the people, was a con 
juror and a traitor against Caesar in being king of the 
Jews indeed He was so spiritually over the true Jew, 
the Christian therefore, he was numbered with notorious 
evil doers, and nailed to the gallows between two 




Hence Paul and all true messengers of Jesus Christ, 
are esteemed seducing and seditious teachers and turners 
of the world upside down : yea, and to my knowledge I 
speak with honourable respect to the answerer, so far as 
he hath laboured for many truths of Christ the answerer 
himself hath drunk of this cup, to be esteemed a seducing 


Peace. Yea, but he produceth scriptures against such 
toleration, and for persecuting men for the cause of con 
science : " Christ," saith he, " had something against the 
angel of the church of Pergamos, for tolerating them that 
held the doctrine of Balaam, and against the church of 
Thyatira, for tolerating Jezebel to teach and seduce," 
Eev. ii. 14, 20. 

Truth. I may answer, with some admiration and as 
tonishment, how it pleased the Father of lights and most 
jealous God to darken and veil the eye of so precious a 
man, as not to seek out and propose some scriptures, in 
the proof of so weighty an assertion, as at least might 
have some colour for an influence of the civil magistrate 
in such cases : for 

First, he saith not that Christ had aught against the Toleration. 
city Pergamos, where Satan had his throne, Rev. ii. 14, examined. 
but against the church at Pergamos, in which was set up 
the throne of Christ. 

Secondly, Christ s charge is not against the civil magis 
trate of Pergamos, but the messenger, or ministry, of the 
church in Pergamos. 

Thirdly, I confess, so far as Balaam s or Jezebel s doc- 


trine maintained a liberty of corporal fornication, it 
concerned the cities of Pergamos and Thyatira, and the 
angel or officers of those cities, to suppress not only such 
practices, but such doctrines also : as the Eoman emperor 
justly punished Ovid the poet, for teaching the wanton 
art of love, leading to and ushering on lasciviousness and 

Fourthly. Yet so far as Balaam s teachers, or Jezebel, 

did seduce the members of the church in Pergamos or 

Thyatira, to the worship of the idolaters in Pergamos or 

Thyatira, which will appear to be the case I say, so far I 

may well and properly answer, as himself answered before 

those scriptures, brought from Luke ix. and 2 Tim. ii., to 

prove patience and permission to men opposite, viz., "these 

scriptures," saith he, " are directions to ministers of the 

gospel ;" and in the end of that passage he adds, " Much 

less do they speak at all to civil magistrates." 1 

chri8t s Fifthly. Either these churches and the angels thereof 

Sid church- had power to suppress these doctrines of Balaam, and to 

power sum- suppress Jezebel from teaching, or they had not : 

cient from 

That tne 7 h a( ^ not cannot be affirmed, for Christ s 
authority is in the hands of his ministers and churches, 
Matt. xvi. and xviii., and 1 Cor. v. 

If they had power, as must be granted, then, I conclude, 
sufficient power to suppress such persons, whoever they 
were, that maintained Balaam s doctrine in the church at 
Pergamos although the very magistrates themselves of 
the city of Pergamos (if Christians) : and to have sup 
pressed Jezebel from teaching and seducing in the church, 
had she been lady, queen, or empress, if there were no 

1 [See before, p. 22. " The letter the falsehood of it, by an instance of 

denieth the lawfulness of all persecu- lawful church-prosecution in case of 

tion in cause of conscience, that is, in false teachers." Cotton s Reply 3 

matter of religion : I seek to evince 117.] 


more but teaching without hostility. And if so, all power 
and authority of magistrates and governors of Pergamos 
and Thyatira, and all submitting or appealing to them 
in such cases, must needs fall, as none of Christ s 

Lastly. From this perverse wresting of what ia writ to 
the church and the officers thereof, as if it were written to 
the civil state and officers thereof, all may see how, since 
the apostasy of anti-christ, the Christian world (so called) 

* ian world 

hath swallowed up Christianity ; how the church and civil JjjJJ^JJl" 
state, that is, the church and the world, are now become ChriBtianit y 
one flock of Jesus Christ ; Christ s sheep, and the pastors 
or shepherds of them, all one with the several unconverted, 
wild, or tame beasts and cattle of the world, and the civil 
and earthly governors of them : the Christian church, or 
kingdom of the saints, that stone cut out of the mountain 
without hands, Dan. ii. 45, now made all one with the 
mountain, or civil state, the Roman empire, from whence 
it is cut or taken : Christ s lilies, garden, and love, all one 
with the thorns, the daughters, and wilderness of the 
world, out of which the spouse or church of Christ is 
called ; and amongst whom, in civil things, for a while 
here below, she must necessarily be mingled and" have 
converse, unless she will go out of the world, before Christ 
Jesus, her Lord and husband, send for her home into the 
heavens, 1 Cor. v. 10. 2 

8 [" I intended to apply the scrip- ducers, are such ?,s are directed to 

tures written to the churches, and to civil states and magistrates, of which 

the officers thereof, no further than to divers have been mentioned and ap- 

other churches and their officers. The plied before." Cotton s Reply, p. 

scriptures upon which we call in the 118.J 
magistrate to the punishment of se- 



Peace. Having thus, by the help of Christ, examined 

those scriptures, or writings of truth, brought by the 

The second author against persecution, and cleared them from such 

sons against veils and mists, wherewith Mr. Cotton hath endeavoured 

such perse- 

the i0 rofls-" to b scure an d darken their lights : I pray you, now, by 
moSs f fa ~ tne same gracious assistance, proceed to his answer to the 
Sing James, second head of reasons, from the profession of famous 

Stephen of . . p . . T 

Poiand, and princes against persecution tor conscience, Hmg J ames, 
Bohemia. Stephen of Poland, King of Bohemia, unto whom the 
answerer returneth a treble answer. s 

" First," saith he, " we willingly acknowledge that none 
is to be persecuted at all, no more than they may be 
oppressed for righteousness sake. 

" Again, we acknowledge that none is to be punished 
for his conscience, though misinformed, as hath been said, 
unless his error be fundamental, or seditiously and turbu- 
lently promoted, and that after due conviction of his con 
science, that it may appear he is not punished for his con 
science, but for sinning against his conscience. 

" Furthermore, we acknowledge, none is to be con 
strained to believe or profess the true religion, till he be 
convinced in judgment of the truth of it; but yet 
restrained he may be from blaspheming the truth, and 
from seducing any unto pernicious errors." 

Truth. This first answer consists of a repetition and 

enumeration of such grounds or conclusions, as Mr. 

Cotton in the entrance of this discourse laid down; and I 

a Pttk * believe that, through the help of God, in such replies as I 

have made unto them, I have made it evident what weak 

3 [See before, p. 24.] 


foundations they have in the scriptures of truth, as also 
that, when such conclusions, excepting the first, as grass 
and the flower of the grass shall fade, that holy word of 
the Lord, which the author against such persecution pro 
duces, and I have cleared, shall stand for ever, even when 
these heavens and earth are burnt. 

Peace. His second answer is this : " What princes 
profess and practise, is not a rule of conscience. They 
many times tolerate that in point of state-policy, which 
cannot justly be tolerated in point of true Christianity. 

" Again, Princes many times tolerate offenders out of 
very necessity, when the offenders are either too many or 
too mighty for them to punish ; in which respect David 
tolerated Joab and his murders, but against his will." 


Truth. Unto those excellent and famous speeches of 
those princes, worthy to be written in golden letters, or 
rows of diamonds, upon all the gates of all the cities and 
palaces in the world, the answerer, without any particular 
reply, returns two things. 

First, that princes profession and practice is no rule of Mr. cotton s 


conscience : unto this, as all men will subscribe, so may dealing with 
they also observe how the answerer deals with princes. 

One while they are the nursing fathers of the church, 
not only to feed, but also to correct, and, therefore, conse 
quently bound to judge what is true feeding and correct 
ing: and, consequently, all men are bound to submit 
to their feeding and correcting. 

Another while, when princes cross Mr. Cotton s judg 
ment and practice, then it matters not what the profession 

L 2 


or practice of princes is : for, saith he, their profession and 
practice is no rule to conscience. 

I ask then, unto what magistrates or princes will them 
selves, or any so persuaded, submit, as unto keepers of 
both tables, as unto the antitypes of the kings of Israel 
and Judah, and nursing fathers and mothers of the 
church ? 

First. Will it not evidently follow, that by these tenents 
they ought not to submit to any magistrates in the world 
in these cases, but to magistrates just of their own con 
science? and 

Secondly. That all other consciences in the world, 
except their own, must be persecuted by such their 
magistrates ?* 

And lastly. Is not this to make magistrates but steps 
and stirrups, to ascend and mount up into their rich and 
honourable seats and saddles ; I mean great and settled 
maintenances, which neither the Lord Jesus, nor any of 
his first messengers, the true patterns, did ever know ? 


Truth. In the second place, he saith, that princes out of 
state-policy tolerate what suits not with Christianity, and 
out of state-necessity tolerate (as David did Joab) against 
their wills. 

To which I answer, 

* [" This will no ways follow, un- . . and that in a turbulent and fac- 

less all men s consciences in the world tious manner. For in these cases 

did err fundamentally and obstinately only, we allow magistrates to punish 

after just conviction, against the very m matters of religion." Cotton s 

principles of Christian religion, or Reply, p. 120.] 
unless they held forth other errors 


First. That although with him, in the first, I confess 
that princes may tolerate that out of state-policy which n e ec Sty of 
will not stand with Christianity, yet, in the second, he tion. 
must acknowledge with me, that there is a necessity some 
times of state-toleration, as in the case of Joab, and so his 
former affirmation, generally laid down (viz., that it is evil 
to tolerate seducing teachers or scandalous livers), was not 
duly weighed in the balance of the sanctuary, and is too 


Secondly. I affirm that the state-policy and state-neces- h b e ri * e je e 8 
sity, which, for the peace of the state and preventing of J 

rivers of civil blood, permit the consciences of men, will te oom- 
be found to agree most punctually with the rules of the toleration of 

, . . . , T , anti-christ- 

best politician that ever the world saw, the King of kings, ians. 
and Lord of lords, in comparison of whom Solomon him 
self had but a drop of wisdom compared to Christ s ocean, 
and was but a farthing candle compared with the all and 
ever glorious Sun of righteousness. 

That absolute rule of this great politician for the peace 
of the field which is the world, and for the good and peace 
of the saints who must have a civil being in the world, I 
have discoursed of in his command of permitting the tares, 
that is, anti-christians, or false Christians, to be in the 
field of the world, growing up together with the true 
wheat, true Christians. 


Peace. His third answer is this : 5 
" For those three princes named by you, who tolerated 
religion, we can name you more and greater who have not 

5 [See before, p. 25.] 


tolerated heretics and schismatics, notwithstanding their 
pretence of conscience, and their arrogating the crown of 
martyrdom to their sufferings." 

" Constantine the Great at the request of the general 
council at Nice, banished Arius, with some of his fellows, 
Sozom. lib. i. Eccles. Hist. cap. 19, 20. 

" The same Constantine made a severe law against the 
Donatists : and the like proceedings against them were 
used by Valentinian, Gratian, and Theodosius, as Augus 
tine reports in Ep. 166. Only Julian the Apostate granted 
liberty to heretics as well as to pagans, that he might, by 
tolerating all weeds to grow, choke the vitals of Christ 
ianity : which was also the practice and sin of Valens the 

" Queen Elizabeth, as famous for her government as 
most of the former, it is well known what laws she made 
and executed against papists. Yea, and King James, one 
of your own witnesses, though he was slow in proceeding 
against papists, as you say, for conscience sake, yet you 
are not ignorant how sharply and severely he punished 
those whom the malignant world calls puritans, men of 
more conscience and better faith than the papists whom he 

Truth. Unto this, I answer : First, that for mine own 

part I would not use an argument from the number of 

The princes princes, witnessing in profession of practice against perse- 

seidomTake cution for cause of conscience ; for the truth and faith of 

part with 

Christ. the Lord Jesus must not be received with respect of faces, 
be they never so high, princely and glorious. 

Precious pearls and jewels, and far more precious truth, 
are found in muddy shells and places. The rich mines of 
golden truth lie hid under barren hills, and in obscure 
holes and corners. 


The most high and glorious God hath chosen the poor 
of the world, and the witnesses of truth (Rev. xi.) are rare. very 
clothed in sackcloth, not in silk or satin, cloth of gold or 
tissue : and, therefore, I acknowledge, if the number of 
princes professing persecution be considered, it is rare to 
find a king, prince, or governor like Christ Jesus, the 
King of kings, and Prince of the princes of the earth, and 
who tread not in the steps of Herod the fox, or Nero the 
lion, openly or secretly persecuting the name of the Lord 
Jesus ; such were Saul, Jeroboam, Ahab, though under a 
mask or pretence of the name of the God of Israel. 6 

To that purpose was it a noble speech of Buchanan, ^*" an s 
who, lying on his death-bed, sent this item to King KinsJames 
James : " Remember my humble service to his majesty, 
and tell him that Buchanan is going to a place where few 
kings come." 


Truth. Secondly. I observe how inconsiderately I 
hope not willingly he passeth by the reasons and grounds 
urged by those three princes for their practices ; for, as for 
the bare examples of kings or princes, they are but like 
shining sands, or gilded rocks, giving no solace to such as 
make woful shipwreck on them. 

In King James s speech, he passeth by that golden 

6 [" The answer which I gave to his and practised against toleration. It 

argument is not taken from the like is truly said, suffragia non sunt nume- 

number of princes, but from the randa, sed ponderanda." Cotton s 

greater piety and presence of God Reply, p 123.] 
with those princes who have professed 


sayings maxim in divinity, "that God never loves to plant his 


persecution, church by blood." 

Secondly. That civil obedience may be performed from 
the papists. 

Thirdly. In his observation on Rev. xx., that true and 
certain note of a false church, to wit, persecution : " The 
wicked are besiegers, the faithful are besieged." 

K hen 8 St of ^ n -K m S Stephen s, of Poland, speech, he passeth by 
tne tme difference between a civil and a spiritual govern- 
men! i ee I am," said Stephen, " a civil magistrate over the 
bodies of men, not a spiritual over their souls." 

Now to confound these is Babel; and Jewish it is to 
seek for Moses, and bring him from his grave (which no 
man shall find, for God buried him) in setting up a 
national state or church, in a land of Canaan, which the 
great Messiah abolished at his coming. 

c F onsde S nce Thirdly. He passeth by, in the speech of the King of 

I-ape! ul Bohemia, that foundation in grace and nature, to wit, 
"That conscience ought not to be violated or forced:" 
and indeed it is most true, that a soul or spiritual rape is 
more abominable in God s eye, than to force and ravish 

Persecution the bodies of all the women in the world. , Secondly. 

Bciem;e~ the That most lamentably true experience of all ages, which 

lancet that . 1 , . 

letteth that king observeth, viz., " That persecution for cause of 

blood of 

conscience hath ever proved pernicious, being the causes 
of all those wonderful innovations of, or changes in, the 
principallest and mightiest kingdoms of Christendom." 
He that reads the records of truth and time with an im 
partial eye, shall find this to be the lancet that hath pierced 
the veins of kings and kingdoms, of saints and sinners, 
and filled the streams and rivers with their blood. 

Lastly. That king s observation of his own time, 7 viz., 

7 [" If the discusser had well ob- not the speech of the king, but of the 
served, he would have found, it was prisoner." Cotton s Reply, p. 129.] 


" That persecution for cause of conscience was practised AH spiritual 
most in England, and such places where popery reigned :" woody. 
implying, as I conceive, that such practices commonly pro 
ceed from that great whore the church of Rome, whose 
daughters are like their mother, and all of a bloody 
nature, as most commonly all whores be. 


Now thirdly. In that the answerer observeth, " That 
amongst the Eoman emperors, they that did not persecute 
were Julian the Apostate, and Yalens the Arian ; where 
as the good emperors, Constantine, Gratian, Yalentinian, 
and Theodosius, they did persecute the Arians, Donatists," 

Answ. It is no new thing for godly, and eminently 
godly men to perform ungodly actions : nor for ungodly evil actors, 
persons, for wicked ends, to act what in itself is good and s dl y g od 

Abraham, Jacob, David, Solomon, &c. (as well as La- Polygamy, 

or the many 

mech, Saul, &c.) lived in constant transgression against jjjjj,^ 1 the 
the institution of so holy and so ratified a law of marriage, 
&c. ; and this not against the light and checks of con 
science (as other sins are wont to be recorded of them), 
but according to the dictate and persuasion of a resolved 
soul and conscience. 

David, out of zeal to God. with thirty thousand of David s ad- 


Israel, and [with] majestical solemnity, carries up the ark 

contrary to the order God was pleased to appoint : the God s order> 
issue was both God s and David s great offence, 2 Sam. vi. 
David in his zeal would build a house to entertain his 
God! What more pious? and what more (in show) 


seriously consulted, when the prophet Nathan is admitted 
counsellor ? 2 Sam. vii. 

And probable it is, that his slaughter of Uriah was not 
without a good end, to wit, to prevent the dishonour of 
God s name in the discovery of his adultery with Bath- 
sheba. Yet David was holy and precious to God still, 
though like a jewel fallen into the dirt. Whereas King 
Ahab, though acting his fasting and humiliation, was but 
Ahab still, though his act, in itself, was a duty, and found 
success with God. 


Peace. I have often heard that history reports, and I 
have heard that Mr. Cotton himself hath affirmed it, that 
Christianity fell asleep in Constantine s bosom, and [in] 
the laps and bosoms of those emperors professing the name 
of Christ. 
constantine Truth. The unknowing zeal of Constantine and other 

and the good 

emperors, did more hurt to Christ Jesus s crown and 
kingdom, than the raging fury of the most bloody Neros. 8 
name wd In the persecutions of the latter, Christians were sweet 

crown of the . 

Lord Jesus, and fragrant, like spice pounded and beaten in mortars. 

^ nese g ^ emperors, persecuting some erroneous per 
sons, Arius, &c., and advancing the professors of some 
truths of Christ for there was no small number of truths 
lost in those times and maintaining their religion by the 

8 [" Though the unknowing zeal of knowing zeal of the good emperors, 

the one was sinful, yet it was the fruit lay not in punishing notorious hereti- 

of human frailty, error amoris ; but cal seducers ... it was toleration that 

the rage of the others was devilish made the world anti-christiaii." Cot- 

fury, amor erroris. Besides the un~ ton s Reply, p. 132.] 


material sword I say, by this means Christianity was 
eclipsed, and the professors of it fell asleep, Cant. v. 2. 
Babel, or confusion, was ushered in, and by degrees the o f h t e h | arden 
gardens of the churches of saints were turned into the JeS^of th * 
wilderness of whole nations, until the whole world became 

Christian, or Christendom, Rev. xii. and xiii. ! 

Doubtless those holy men, emperors and bishops, in 
tended and aimed right to exalt Christ ; but not attending 
to the command of Christ Jesus, to permit the tares to 
grow in the field of the world, they make the garden of 
the church and field of the world to be all one ; and might 
not only sometimes, in their zealous mistakes, persecute 
good wheat instead of tares, but also pluck up thousands 
of those precious stalks by commotions and combustions 
about religion, as hath been since practised in the great 
and wonderful changes wrought by such wars in many 
great and mighty states and kingdoms, as we heard even 
now in the observation of the King of Bohemia. 


Peace. Dear Truth, before you leave this passage con 
cerning the emperors, I shall desire you to glance your 
eye on this not unworthy observation, -to wit, how fully 
this worthy answerer hath learned to speak the roaring 
language of lion-like persecution, far from the purity and 
peaceableness of the lamb, which he was wont to express 
in England. For thus he writes : 

" More and greater princes than these you mention," 
saith he, "have not tolerated heretics and schismatics, 
notwithstanding their pretence of conscience, and their 
arrogating the crown of martyrdom to their sufferings." 


Truth. Thy tender ear and heart, sweet Peace, endure 
not such language. It is true, that these terms, heretics 
(or wilfully obstinate) and schismatics (or renders) are 
used in holy writ. It is true also, that such pretend 
r conscience, and challenge the crown of martyrdom to 
the U 4o7v7s their suffering. Yet since, as King James spake in his 
o?th e un< !rs mark of a false church on Rev. xx., the wicked persecute 
and besiege, and the godly are persecuted and besieged, 
this is the common clamour of persecutors against the 
messengers and witnesses of Jesus in all ages, viz., you 
are heretics, schismatics, factious, seditious, rebellious. 
Have not all truth s witnesses heard such reproaches? 
You pretend conscience : you say you are persecuted for 
religion : you will say you are martyrs ? 

Oh ! it is hard for God s children to fall to opinion and 
practice of persecution, without the ready learning the 
language thereof. And doubtless, that soul that can so 
readily speak Babel s language, hath cause to fear that he 
hath not yet in point of worship left the gates or suburbs 
of it. 

Peace. Again, in blaming Julian and Yalens the Arian, 

for tolerating "all weeds to grow, he notes their sinful 

end, that thereby they might choke the vitals of Chris 

tianity ;" and seems to consent, in this and other passages 

foregoing and following on a speech of Jerome, that the 

weeds of false religion tolerated in the world, have a 

power to choke and kill true Christianity in the church. 

Christ s Truth. I shall more fully answer to this on Jerome s 

flourish in speech, and show that if the weeds be kept out of the 

his church, 

g ar( len of the church, the roses and lilies therein will 

of ^tm flourish, notwithstanding that weeds abound in the field of 

permitted, the civil state. When Christianity began to be choked, 
it was not when Christians lodged in cold prisons, but 
down -beds of ease, and persecuted others, &c. 



Peace. He ends this passage with approbation of Queen 
Elizabeth for persecuting the papists, and a reproof to 
King James for his persecuting the puritans, &c. 

Truth. I answer, if Queen Elizabeth, according to the 
answerer s tenent and conscience, did well to persecute e io p n e s rs e f " 
according to her conscience, King James did not ill in 
persecuting according to his. 9 For Mr. Cotton must 

grant, that either King James was not fit to be a king, 
had not the essential qualifications of a king, in not being 
able rightly to judge who ought to be persecuted, and who 
not : or else he must confess that King James, and all 
magistrates, must persecute such whom in their conscience 
they judge worthy to be persecuted. 

I say it again, though I neither approve Queen Eliza 
beth or King James in such their persecutions, yet such 
as hold this tenent of persecuting for conscience, must 
also hoIJ that civil magistrates are not essentially fitted 
and qualified for their function and office, except they can 
discern clearly the difference between such as are to be 
punished and persecuted, and such as are not. 

Or else, if they be essentially qualified, without such a 
religious spirit of discerning, and yet must persecute the 
heretic, the schismatic, &c., must they not persecute 
according to their consciences and persuasion? And then 
doubtless, though he be excellent for civil government^ 
may he easily, as Paul did ignorantly, persecute the Son of 
God instead of the son of perdition. 

9 [" It followeth not. For Queen and King James do ill according to 

Elizabeth might do well in persecuting conscience misinformed." Cotton s 

seditious or seducing papists, accord- Reply, p. 136.] 
ing to conscience rightly informed, 



Therefore, lastly, according to Christ Jesus command, 
magistrates are bound not to persecute, and to see that 
none of their subjects be persecuted and oppressed for 
their conscience and worship, being otherwise subject and 
peaceable in civil obedience. 

in his open- 

Mr? cotton 


that Queen 

Elizabeth s 



In the second place, I answer and ask, what glory to 
God, what good to the souls or bodies of their subjects, 
shall princes, or did these princes bring in persecuting? 

Peace. Mr. Cotton tells us, in his discourse upon the 
third vial, 1 that Queen Elizabeth had almost fired the 
world in civil combustions by such her persecuting : for 
though he bring it in to another end. yet he confesseth 

tnat ft " raised all Christendom in combustion ; . raised 
the wars of 1588 and the Spanish Invasion;" and 
he adds, both concerning the English nation and the 
Dutch, " that if God had not borne witness to his people 
and their laws, in defeating the intendments of their 
enemies, against both the nations, it might have been the 
ruin of them both." 

1 [The Third Vial, pp. 6, 7. The 
object of Mr. Cotton in this work was 
to justify the persecution of the 
papists by Queen Elizabeth, and the 
imitation of that conduct in the Low 
Countries. He says, " This phrase, 
out of the altar, holds forth some 
under persecution. . . . Duke D Alva 
boasts that 36,000 protestants were 
put to death by him, and in 1586 the 
Jesuits were banished the country. . 
.. They [the protestants] justly say 

Amen, to the" queen s law that as 
she gave the popish emissaries blood 
to drink the angel says, Even so, 
Amen. They acknowledge God s 
almighty power, that had given them 
power to make that law against them 
all states rang of these laws, and 
it raised all Christendom," &c., &c. 
The Pouring out of the Seven Vials: 
or an Exposition of Rev. xvi. By 
the learned and reverend John Cot- 
ton, B.D. London, 1642. 4to.] 


Truth. That those laws and practices of Queen Eliza 
beth raised those combustions in Christendom, I deny not : 
that they might likely have cost the ruin of English and 
Dutch, I grant. 

That it was God s gracious work in defeating the in- 
tendments of their enemies, I thankfully acknowledge. 
But that God bore witness to such persecutions and laws 
for such persecutions, I deny : for, 

First, event and success come alike to all, and are no 
argument of love, or hatred, &c. 

Secondly, the papists in their wars have ever yet had, 
both in peace and war, victory and dominion ; and there 
fore, if success be the measure, God hath borne witness 
unto them. 

It is most true, what Daniel in his eighth, and eleventh, 
and twelfth chapters, and John in his Revelation, eleventh, 
twelfth, and thirteenth chapters, write of the great success 
of anti-christ against Christ Jesus for a time appointed. 

Success was various between Charles V. and some 

between tho 

German princes : Philip of Spain and the Low Countries ; 
the French king and his protestant subjects : sometimes 
losing, sometimes winning, interchangeably. 

But most memorable is the famous history of the Wal- 
denses and Albigenses, those famous witnesses of Jesus 
Christ, who rising from Waldo, at Lyons in France 
(1160), spread over France, Italy, Germany, and almost ScnSanvrit- 
all countries, into thousands and ten thousands, making against 
separation from the pope and church of Rome. These and Ce theT s 


fought many battles with various success, and had the armies. 
assistance and protection of divers great princes against 
three succeeding popes and their armies ; but after mutual 
slaughters and miseries to both sides, the final success of 
victory fell to the popedom and Romish church, in the 
utter extirpation of those famous Waldensian witnesses. 


pie d victori- God s servants are all overcomers when they war with 
God s weapons, in God s cause and worship : and in Rev. 
second and third chapters, seven times it is recorded To 
him that overcometh, in Ephesus ; to him that overcometh, 
in Sardis, &c. ; and Rev. twelfth, God s servants overcame 
the dragon, or devil, in the Roman emperors by three 
weapons the blood of the Lamb, the word of their testi 
mony, and the not loving of their lives unto the death. 


The third 
head of 

head of Peace. The answerer, in the next place, descends to the 

from ancient third and last head of arguments produced by the author, 
writers. taken from the judgment of ancient and later writers, yea, 
even of the papists themselves, who have condemned per 
secution for conscience sake : some of which the answerer 
pleaseth to answer, and thus writeth : 2 
The Christ- " You begin with Hilary, whose testimony without 

ian church . 

doth not prejudice to the truth we may admit : for it is true, the 

persecute r * 

cuted. perse " Christian church doth not persecute, but is persecuted. 
But to excommunicate a heretic, is not to persecute, that 
is, it is not to punish an innocent but a culpable and 
damnable person, and that not for conscience, but for per 
sisting in error against light of conscience, whereof he 
hath been convinced.-" 

Truth. In this answer there are two things : 
First. His confession of the same truth affirmed by 
Hilarius, to wit, that the Christian church doth not perse 
cute, but is persecuted : suiting with that foregoing obser 
vation of King James from Rev. xx. 

2 [See before, p. 26.] 


Peace. Yet to this he adds a colour thus : " which/ 
saith he, " we"may admit without prejudice to the truth." 
Truth. I answer, If it be a mark of the Christian 


church to be persecuted, and of the anti-christian, or false cS^ 8 
church, to persecute, then those churches cannot be cruly cl 
Christian, according to the first institution, which either 
actually themselves, or by the civil power of kings and 
princes given to them, or procured by them to fight for 
them, do persecute such as dissent from them, or be oppo 
site against them. 

Peace. Yea ; but in the second place he addeth, " that 
to excommunicate a heretic is not to persecute, but to 
punish him for sinning against the light of his own 
conscience," &c. 

Truth. I answer, If this worthy answerer were 
thoroughly awaked from the spouse s spiritual slumber 
(Cant. v. 3), and had recovered from the drunkenness of 
the great whore who intoxicateth the nations, Rev. xvii. 2, 
it is impossible that he should so answer : for 

First. Who questioneth whether to excommunicate a The nature 

,.,.,. . , of excom- 

heretic, that is, an obstinate gamsayer, as we have opened 
the word upon Tit. iii., I say, who questioneth whether 
that be to persecute ? excommunication being of a 
spiritual nature, a sentence denounced by the word of 
Christ Jesus, the spiritual King of his church; and a 
spiritual killing by the most sharp two-edged sword of the 
Spirit, in delivering up the person excommunicate to Satan. 
Therefore, who sees not that his answer comes not near 
our question ? 3 

3 ["If it be unlawful to banish any man for cause of conscience by the 

from the commonwealth for cause of civil sword be persecution, it is a far 

conscience, it is unlawful to banish greater persecution to censure a man 

any from the church for cause of for cause of conscience by the spiritual 

conscience. ... If the censure of a sword. . . . Sure I am, Christ Jesus 



Peace. In the answerer s second conclusion, in the 
entrance of this discourse, he proves persecution against 
a heretic for sinning against his conscience, and quotes 
Tit. iii. 10, which only proves, as I have there made it 
evident, a spiritual rejecting or excommunicating from the 
church of God, and so comes not near the question. 

Here, again, he would prove churches charged to be 
false, because they persecute ; I say, he would prove them 
not to be false, because they persecute not : for, saith he, 
excommunication is not persecution. Whereas the ques- 
tion is, as the whole discourse, and Hilary s own amplifi- 
s> cation of the matter in this speech, and the practice of 
all ages testify, whether it be not a false church that doth 
persecute other churches or members, opposing her in 
spiritual and church matters, not by excommunications, 
but by imprisonments, stocking, whipping, fining, banish 
ing, hanging, burning, &c., notwithstanding that such 
persons in civil obedience and subjection are unreprovable. 
Christ s Truth. I conclude this passage with Hilarius and the 

spouse no 

answerer, that the Christian church doth not persecute ; 
no more than a lily doth scratch the thorns, or a lamb 
pursue and tear the wolves, or a turtle-dove hunt the 
hawks and eagles, or a chaste and modest virgin fight and 
scratch like whores and harlots. 4 

And for punishing the heretic for sinning against his 
conscience after conviction which is the second conclu 
sion he aifirmeth to be by a civil sword, I have at large 
there answered. 

reckoneth excommunication for perse- spiritual adulterer that seeketh to 

cution, Luke xxi. 12. Cotton s Re- withdraw her from her spouse to a 

ply, p. 143.] false Christ, than the eye of a holy 

4 ["I see no reason why the chaste Israelite was to spare and pity the 

and modest eye of a Christian church like tempters in days of old, Deut. 

should any more spare and pity a xiii. 8." Ib. p. 144.] 



Peace. In the next place, lie selecteth one passage out 
of Hilary although there are many golden passages 
there expressed against the use of civil, earthly powers 
in the affairs of Christ. The passage is this : 

" It is true also what he saith, that neither the apostles 
nor we may propagate Christian religion hy the sword ; musHSt be 
but if pagans cannot be won by the word, they are not to byX e 
be compelled by the sword. Nevertheless, this hindereth 
not," saith he, "but if they or any other should blas 
pheme the true God and his true religion, they ought to 
be severely punished; and no less do they deserve, if they 
seduce from the truth to damnable heresy or idolatry." 

Truth. In which answer I observe, first, his agreement 
with Hilary, that the Christian religion may not be pro 
pagated by the civil sword. 

Unto which I reply and ask, then what means this 
passage in his first answer to the former speeches of the 
king, 5 viz., "We acknowledge that none is to be con 
strained to believe or profess the true religion, till he be 
convinced in judgment of the truth of it ?" 6 implying two 

First. That the civil magistrate, who is to constrain 
with the civil sword, must judge all the consciences of 
their subjects, whether they be convinced or no. 

Secondly. When the civil magistrate discerns that his 

5 [See before, p. 24.] as a wise and discerning prince would 

6 [" Thus far he may be constrain- otherwise grant to such as believe the 
ed, by withholding such countenance truth and profess it." Cotton s Re- 
and favour from him, such encou- ply, p. 145.J 

ragement and employment from him, 

M 2 



upon con 
sciences in 
Old and 
New Eng 

subjects consciences are convinced, then he may constrain 
them vi et armis, hostilely. 

And accordingly, the civil state and magistracy judging 
in spiritual things, who knows not what constraint lies 
upon all consciences, in old and New England, to come to 
church, and pay church duties, 7 which is upon the point 
though with a sword of a finer gilt and trim in New 
England nothing else but that which he confesseth 
Hilary saith true should not be done, to wit, a propagation 
of religion by the sword. 8 

Again, although he confesseth that propagation of reli 
gion ought not to be by the sword, yet he maintaineth the 
use of the sword, when persons, in the judgment of the 
civil state, for that is implied, blaspheme the true God, 
and the true religion, and also seduce others to damnable 

7 [By the 35th of Elizabeth, all 
subjects of the realm above sixteen 
years of age, were compelled to at 
tend church under the penalties of 
fine and imprisonment. Collier s 
Eccles. Hist. vii. 163. The pilgrim 
fathers of New England adopted a 
similar obnoxious and persecuting 
law. In the year 1631, it was enact 
ed by their general court, " that no 
one should enjoy the privileges of a 
freeman, unless he was a member of 
some church in the colony." " Every 
inhabitant was compelled to contri 
bute to the support of religion, and 
the magistrates insisted on the pre 
sence of every man at public wor 
ship." Knowles s Memoir of Roger 
Williams, p. 44. Bancroft s Hist, of 
U. States, i. 369.] 

a [" I know of no constraint at all 
that Jieth upon the consciences of 
any in New England, to come to 
church. . . . Least of all do I know 
that any are constrained to pay church 

duties in New England. Sure I am, 
none in our own town are constrained 
to pay any church duties at all. 
What they pay they give voluntarily, 
each one with his own hand, without 
any constraint at all, but their own 
will, as the Lord directs them." 
Cotton s Reply, p. 146. Mr. Wil 
liams thus rejoins, " If Mr. Cotton be 
forgetful, sure he can hardly be igno 
rant of the laws and penalties extant 
in New England that are, or if repeal 
ed have been, against such as absent 
themselves from church morning and 
evening, and for non-payment of 
church duties, although no members. 
For a freedom of not paying in his 
town (Boston) it is to their com 
mendation and God s praise. Yet 
who can be ignorant of the assess 
ments upon all in other towns, of the 
many suits and sentences in courts." 
&c. Bloody Tenent yet more Bloody, 
p. 216.] 


heresy and idolatry. Which, because he barely affirmeth 
in this place, I shall defer my answer unto the after 
reasons of Mr. Cotton and the elders of New English 
churches ; where scriptures are alleged, and in that place, 
by God s assistance, they shall be examined and answered. 


Peace. The answerer thus proceeds :9 " Your next 
writer is Tertullian, who speaketh to the same purpose in 
the place alleged by you. His intent is only to restrain 
Scapula, the Roman governor of Africa, from persecuting 
the Christians, for not offering sacrifice to their gods : and 
for that end, fetched an argument from the law of natural 
equity, not to compel any to any religion, but permit 
them to believe [willingly], or not to believe at all. 
Which we acknowledge ; and accordingly we judge, the 
English may permit the Indians to continue in their unbe 
lief. Nevertheless, it will not therefore be lawful [openly] 
to tolerate the worship of devils or idols, to the seduction 
of any from the truth." 

Truth. Answ. In this passage he agreeth with Tertul 
lian, and gives instance in America of the English per 
mitting the Indians to continue in their unbelief: yet 
withal he affirmeth it not lawful to tolerate worshipping 
of devils, or seduction from the truth. 

I answer, that in New England it is well known that The Indians 

of New 

they not only permit the Indians to continue in their En s^<i 

^ . permitted 

unbelief, which neither they nor all the ministers 02 
Christ on earth, nor angels in heaven, can help, not being * 

* [See before, p. 26.] 



(which they 
cannot cure 
but also in 
their false 
which they 
might by 
the civil 

able to work belief: but they also permit or tolerate them 
in their paganish worship, which cannot be denied to be a 
worshipping of devils, as all false worship is, 1 

And therefore, consequently, according to the same 
practice, did they walk by rule and impartially, not only 
the Indians, but their countrymen, French, Dutch, 
Spanish, Persians, Turks, Jews, &c., should also be 
permitted in their worships, if correspondent in civil 

Peace. He adds further, "When Tertullian saith, That 
another man s religion neither hurteth nor profiteth any ; 
it must be understood of private worship and religion 
professed in private : otherwise a false religion professed 
by the members of the church, or by such as have given 
their names to Christ, will be the ruin and desolation of 
the church, as appeareth by the threats of Christ to the 
churches, Rev. ii." 

Truth. I answer : passing by that unsound distinction 
of members of the church, or those that have given their 
names to Christ, which in point of visible profession and 
worship will appear to be all one, it is plain 

First. That Tertullian doth not there speak of private, 
but of public worship and religion. 

Secondly. Although it be true in a church of Christ, 
that a false religion or worship permitted, will hurt, 
according to those threats of Christ, Rev. ii., yet in two 

1 [" It is not true that the New 
English do tolerate the Indians, who 
have submitted to the English protec 
tion and government, in their worship 
of devils openly. ... It hath been 
an article of the covenant between 
such Indians as have submitted to 
our government, that they shall sub 
mit to the ten commandments." 
Cotton s Reply, p. 148. On the 

contrary Mr. Williams re-asserts, that 
certain tribes of the Indians "who 
profess to submit to the English, con 
tinue in the public paganish worship 
of devils I say openly, and con 
stantly," and that their practices are 
in utter opposition to the ten com 
mandments they had professed to 
receive. Bloody Tenet, &c. p. 218.] 


cases I believe a false religion will not hurt, which is 
most like to have been Tertullian s meaning. 

First. A false religion out of the church will not hurt or the state 
the church,, no more than weeds in the wilderness hurt the 
enclosed garden, or poison hurt the body when it is not 
touched or taken, yea, and antidotes are received against it. 

Secondly. A false religion and worship will not hurt 
the civil state, in case the worshippers break no civil law: 
and the answerer elsewhere acknowledgeth, that the civil 
laws not being broken, civil peace is not broken : and this 
only is the point in question. 2 


Peace. "Your next author," saith he, 3 "Jerome, crosseth The seduc 
ing or in- 
not the truth, nor advantageth your cause ; for we grant fecting o 

what he saith, that heresy must be cut off with the sword discussed - 
of the Spirit : but this hinders not, but that being so cut 
down, if the heretic will persist in his heresy to the seduc 
tion of others, he may be cut off also by the civil sword, 
to prevent the perdition of others. And that to be 
Jerome s meaning, appeareth by his note upon that of the 
apostle, A little leaven leaveneth the ivhole lump. Therefore," 
saith he, "a spark as soon as it appeareth, is to be ex- 

2 [But " that is a civil law whatso- Christian magistrate, to assist the 

ever concerneth the good of the city, officers of the church in the Lord s 

and the propulsing of the contrary. work: the one to lay in antidotes to 

Now religion is the best good of the prevent infection, the other to weed 

city : and, therefore, laws about reli- out infectious, noisome weeds, which 

gion are truly called civil laws, enact- the sheep of Christ will be touching 

ed by civil authority, about the best and taking." Cotton s Reply, p. 151.] 

good of the city. . . . Here will be 8 [See before, p. 27. Also, Tracts 

needful the faithful vigilancy of the on Lib. of Conscience, p. 220.] 


tinguished, and the leaven to be removed from the rest of 
the dough ; rotten pieces of flesh are to be cut off, and a 
scabbed beast is to be driven from the sheepfold ; lest the 
whole house, body, mass of dough, and flock, be set on 
fire with the spark, be putrefied with the rotten flesh, 
soured with the leaven, perish by the scabbed beast." 

Trutli. I answer, first, he granteth to Jerome, 4 that 
sword of the heresv must be cut off with the sword of the Spirit ; vet, 

Spirit only, J 

in spiritual withal, he maintameth a cutting oft by a second sword, 


the sword of the magistrate ; and conceiveth that Jerome 
so means, because he quoteth that of the apostle, A little 
leaven leaveneth the whole lump. 

Answ. It is no argument to prove that Jerome meant a 
civil sword, by alleging 1 Cor. v. 6, or Gal. v. 9, which 
properly and only approve a cutting off by the sword of 
the Spirit in the church, and the purging out of the leaven 
in the church, in the cities of Corinth and Galatia. 

And if Jerome should so mean as himself doth, yet, 
The abso- first, that grant of his, that heresv must be cut off with 

lute suffi- * 

sword UfSe ^ e swor d f the Spirit, implies an absolute sufficiency in 
the sword of the Spirit to cut it down, according to that 
mighty operation of scriptural weapons, 2 Cor. x. 4, 
powerfully sufficient, either to convert the heretic to God, 
and subdue his very thoughts into subjection to Christ, or 
else spiritually to slay and execute him. 

Secondly. It is clear to be the meaning of the apostle, 
and of the Spirit of God, not there to speak to the church 

The church- i n Corinth, or Galatia, or any other church, concerning 

of Christ to * 

an y other dough, or house, or body, or flock, but the 
dough, the body, the house, the flock of Christ, his church : 

4 [In this paragraph Mr. Williams slip of the pen ; we have, therefore, 
refers the above quotation to Tertul- inserted in the text " Jerome," Ju 
lian, but by an evident mistake or stead of "Tertullian,"as in the copy.] 


out of which such sparks, such leaven, such rotten flesh, 
and scabbed sheep, are to be avoided. 

Nor could the eye of this worthy answerer ever be so A nati nai 

- ( church not 

obscured, as to run to a smith s shop for a sword of iron ^"tuted 

"- by Christ 

and steel to help the sword of the Spirit, if the Sun of Jesus 
righteousness had once been pleased to show him, that a 
national church, which elsewhere he professeth against, a 
state-church, whether explicit, as in old England, or 
implicit, as in New, is not the institution of the Lord 
Jesus Christ. 5 

The national, typical state-church of the Jews, neces- 

church of 

sanly called for such weapons ; but the particular churches the Jews - 
of Christ in all parts of the world, consisting of Jews or 
Gentiles, are powerfully able, by the sword of the Spirit 
to defend themselves, and offend men or devils, although 
the state or kingdom, wherein such a church or churches 
of Christ are gathered, have neither carnal spear nor 
sword, &c. ; as once it was in the national church of the 1 Sam xiii 
land of Canaan. 


Peace. (( Brentius, whom you next quote," saith he, 6 Man hath 
" speaketh not to your cause. We willingly grant you, makeTaws 

ITT T to bind 

that man nath no power to make laws to bind conscience ; conscience. 
but this hinders not, but men may see the laws of God 
observed which do bind conscience." 

Truth. I answer, In granting with Brentius that man 

6 ["The Lord, through his grace, is not the institution of the Lord 
hath opened mine eye many a year Jesus." Cotton s Reply, p. 156.] 
ago to discern that a national church 6 [See before, p. 26.] 


hath not power to make laws to bind conscience, he over 
throws such his tenent and practice as restrain men from 
their worship according to their conscience and belief,, 
and constrain them to such worships, though it be out of 
a pretence that they are convinced, which their own souls 
tell them they have no satisfaction nor faith in. 7 

Secondly. Whereas he affirmeth that men may make 
laws to see the laws of God observed : 

I answer, as God needeth not the help of a material 
sword of steel to assist the sword of the Spirit in the 
affairs of conscience, so those men, those magistrates, yea, 
that commonwealth which makes such magistrates, must 
needs have power and authority from Christ Jesus to sit 
as judge, and to determine in all the great controversies 
concerning doctrine, discipline, government, &c. 
Desperate ^ n( j fa Qn j ag j^ w h e th er U p 0n this ground it must not 

q voKta! n " evidently follow, that 

Either there is no lawful commonwealth, nor civil state 
of men in the world, which is not qualified with this 
spiritual discerning : and then also, that the very common 
weal hath more light concerning the church of Christ, 
than the church itself. 

Or, that the commonweal and magistrates thereof, 
must judge and punish as they are persuaded in their own 
belief and conscience, be their conscience paganish, 

[" It is an untruth, that either we &c., through the whole book, and he 
restrain men from worship according shall then be able to judge whether 
to conscience, or constrain them to it be untrue that his doctrine tends 
worship against conscience ; or that not to constrain nor restrain con- 
such is my tenet and practice." science. . . . And a cruel law is yet 
Cotton s Reply, p. 157. "I earnestly extant [in New England] against 
beseech," says Mr. Williams, " every Christ Jesus, muffled up under the 
reader seriously to ponder the whole hood or veil of a law against ana- 
stream and series of Mr. Cotton s baptistry." Bloody Tenet yet, &c., 
discourse, propositions, affirmations, p. 233.] 


Turkish, or anti-cliristian. What is this but to confound 
heaven and earth together, and not only to take away 
the being of Christianity out of the world, but to take 
away all civility, and the world out of the world, and to 
lay all upon heaps of confusion ? 


Peace. Si The like answer," saith he, 8 " may be returned testimony 

in this case 

to Luther, whom you next allege. discussed. 

" First. That the government of the civil magistrate 
extendeth no further than over the bodies and goods of 
their subjects, not over their souls ; and, therefore, they 
may not undertake to give laws unto the souls and con 
sciences of men. 

" Secondly. That the church of Christ doth not use the 
arm of secular power to compel men to the true profession 
of the truth, for this is to be done with spiritual weapons, 
whereby Christians are to be exhorted, not compelled. 
But this," saith he, " hindereth not that Christians sinning 
against light of faith and conscience, may justly be cen 
sured by the church with excommunication, and by the 
civil sword also, in case they shall corrupt others to the 
perdition of their souls." 

Truth. I answer, in this joint confession of the answerer 
with Luther, to wit, that the government of the civil 
magistrate extendeth no further than over the bodies and 
goods of their subjects, not over their souls : who sees not 
what a clear testimony from his own mouth and pen is 
given, to wit, that either the spiritual and church estate, 

8 [See before, p. 28.J 


the preaching of the word, and the gathering of the 
church, the baptism of it, the ministry, government, and 
administrations thereof, belong to the civil body of the 
commonweal, that is, to the bodies and goods of men, 
which seems monstrous to imagine ? Or else that the 
civil magistrate cannot, without exceeding the bounds of 
his office, meddle with those spiritual affairs ? 9 

Again, necessarily must it follow, that these two are 
- contradictory to themselves, to wit, 

tradictory to i 

themselves. The magistrates power extends no further than the 
bodies and goods of the subject, and yet 

The magistrate must punish Christians for sinning 
against the light of faith and conscience, and for corrupt 
ing the souls of men. The Father of lights make this 
worthy answerer, and all that fear him, to see their 
wandering in this case : not only from his fear, but also 
from the light of reason itself, their own convictions and 

Secondly. In his joint confession with Luther, that the 
church doth not use the secular power to compel men to 
the faith and profession of the truth, he condemneth, as 
before I have observed, 

First. His former implication, viz., that they may be 
compelled when they are convinced of the truth of it. 

Secondly. Their own practice who suffer no man of 
any different conscience and worship to live in their juris 
diction, except that he depart from his own exercise of 
religion and worship, differing from the worship allowed 
of in the civil state, yea, and also actually submit to come 
to their church. 

9 [" Though the government of the improve that power ... to the good 

civil magistrate do extend no further of their souls ; yea, he may much 

than over the bodies and goods of his advance the good of their outward 

subjects, yet he may and ought to man also." Cotton s Reply, p. 162.] 


Which, however it is coloured over with this varnish, 
viz., that men are compelled no further than unto the 
hearing of the word, unto which all men are bound, yet it of God a s par 
will appear, that teaching and being taught in a church 
estate is a church worship, as true and proper a church 
worship as the supper of the Lord, Acts ii. 46. 

Secondly. All persons, papist and protestant, that are 
conscientious, have always suffered upon this ground 
especially, that they have refused to come to each other s 
church or meeting. 


Peace. The next passage in the author which the Papists 

plea for 

answerer descends unto, is the testimony of the papists 
themselves, a lively and shining testimony, from scriptures 
alleged both against themselves and all that associate with 
them (as power is in their hand) in such unchristian and 
bloody both tenents and practices. 

" As for the testimony of the popish book," saith he, 1 
" we weigh it not, as knowing whatever they speak for 
toleration of religion where themselves are under hatches, 
when they come to sit at stern they judge and practise 
quite contrary, as both their writings and judicial pro 
ceedings have testified to the world these many years." 

Truth. I answer, although both writings and practices 
have been such, yet the scriptures and expressions of 
truth alleged and uttered by them, speak loud and fully 
for them when they are under the hatches, that for their 

1 [See before, p. 28.] 


conscience and religion they should not there be choked 
and smothered, but suffered to breathe and walk upon the 
decks, in the air of civil liberty and conversation, in the 
ship of the commonwealth, upon good assurance given of 
civil obedience to the civil state. 

Again, if this practice be so abominable in his eyes 
fr m tne papists, viz., that they are so partial as to per- 
ofpersecu- secute when they sit at helm, and yet cry out against 
persecution when they are under the hatches, I shall 
beseech the righteous Judge of the whole world to pre 
sent, as in a water or glass where face answereth to face, 
the faces of the papist to the protestant, answering to each 
other in the sameness of partiality, both of this doctrine 
and practice. 

When Mr. Cotton and others have formerly been under 
hatches, what sad and true complaints have they abun 
dantly poured forth against persecution ! How have they 
opened that heavenly scripture, Cant. iv. 8, where Christ 
Jesus calls his tender wife and spouse from the fellowship 
with persecutors in their dens of lions and mountains of 
leopards ? 

But coming to the helm, as he speaks of the papists, 
how, both by preaching, writing, printing, practice, do 
they themselves I hope in their persons lambs unna 
turally and partially express towards others the cruel 
nature of such lions and leopards ? 

A false ba- Oh ! that the God of heaven might please to tell them 
God s mat- how abominable in his eyes are a weight and a weight, a 

tersabomi- . * c 

nabie to . S t ne and a stone, in the bag of weights I one weight for 
themselves when they are under hatches, and another for 
others when they come to helm. 

Nor shall their confidence of their being in the truth, 
which they judge the papists and others are not in, no, 
nor the truth itself, privilege them to persecute others, 


and to exempt themselves from persecution, because (as 

First, it is against the nature of true sheep to persecute, Shee P can " 

not hunt, no 

or hunt the beasts of the forest : no, not the same wolves ^es! 
who formerly have persecuted themselves. 2 

Secondly, if it be a duty and charge upon all magis 
trates, in all parts of the world, to judge and persecute in 
and for spiritual causes, then either they are no magis 
trates who are not able to judge in such cases, or else they 
must judge according to their consciences, whether pagan, 
Turkish, or anti-christian. 

Lastly, notwithstanding their confidence of the truth of Pills to 

purge out 

their own way, yet the experience of our fathers errors, 
our own mistakes and ignorance, the sense of our own 
weaknesses and blindness in the depths of the prophecies 
and mysteries of the kingdom of Christ, and the great 
professed expectation of light to come which we are not now 
able to comprehend, may abate the edge, yea, sheath up 
the sword of persecution toward any, especially [toward] 
such as differ not from them in doctrines of repentance, or 
faith, or holiness of heart and life, and hope of glorious 
and eternal union to come, but only in the way and 
manner of the administrations of Jesus Christ. 

a [" When the wolf runneth ra- herd to send forth his dogs to worry 

venously upon the sheep, is it against such a wolf, without incurring the 

the nature of the true sheep to run reproach of a persecutor." Cotton s 

to their shepherd? And is it then Reply, p. 171.] 
against the nature of the true shep 



Peace. To close this head of the testimony of writers, it 
pleaseth the ansAverer to produce a contrary testimony of 
Austin, Optatus, &c. 3 
superstition Truth. I readily acknowledge, as formerly I did con- 

and perse- . . . 

cutionhave eeming the testimony of princes, that anti-Christ is too 
votes irom hard for Christ at votes and numbers; yea, and believe 

Gods own 

people.. ^at in many points, wherein the servants of God these 
many hundred years have been fast asleep, superstition 
and persecution have had more suffrages and votes from 
God s own people, than hath either been honourable to 
the Lord, or peaceable to their own or the souls of others : 
therefore, not to derogate from the precious memory of 
any of them, let us briefly consider what they have in this 
point affirmed. 

To begin with Austin: "They murder," saith he, 
" souls, and themselves are afflicted in body, and they put 
men to everlasting death, and yet they complain when 
themselves are put to temporal death." 4 

Austin s I answer, this rhetorical persuasion of human wisdom 

saying for 

persecution seems very reasonable in the eye of flesh and blood ; but 

examined. * J 

one scripture more prevails with faithful and obedient 
souls than thousands of plausible and eloquent speeches : 
in particular, 

First, the scripture useth soul-killing in a large sense, 
not only for the teaching of false prophets and seducers, 
but even for the offensive walking of Christians : in which 

8 [See before, p. 28.] root of apostasy from God: not only 

* [ The murder of the soul is not falling off himself from God, but 

the only proper cause of a heretic s seducing others." Cotton s Reply, 

capital crime, but chiefly his bitter p. 175.] 


respect, 1 Cor. viii. 9, a true Christian may be guilty of 
destroying a soul for whom Christ died, and therefore by 
this rule ought to be hanged, burned, &c. 

Secondly, that plausible similitude will not prove that 
every false teaching or false practice actually kills the 
soul, as the body is slain, and slain but once ; for souls 
infected or bewitched may again recover, 1 Cor. v. ; Gal. v. ; 
2 Tim. ii., &c. 5 

Thirdly, for soul-killings, yea, also for soul-woundings 
and grievings, Christ Jesus hath appointed remedies suffi 
cient in his church. There comes forth a two-edged 

sword out of his mouth (Rev. i. and Rev. ii.), able to cut Punish 
ments pro- 

down heresy, as is confessed : yea, and to kill the heretic : 

yea, and to punish his soul everlastingly, which no sword kmSf s ul " 

of steel can reach unto in any punishment comparable or SouSelk 

imaginable. And therefore, in this case, we may say of 

this spiritual soul-killing by the sword of Christ s mouth, 

as Paul concerning the incestuous person, 2 Cor. ii. [6,] 

Sufficient is this punishment, &c. 

Fourthly, although no soul-killers, nor soul-grievers, 
may be suffered in the spiritual state, or kingdom of 
Christ, the church; yet he hath commanded that such 
should be suffered and permitted to be and live in the 
world, as I have proved on Matt. xiii. : otherwise thousands 
and millions, of souls and bodies both, must be murdered 
and cut off by civil combustions and bloody wars about 

Fifthly, I argue thus : the souls of all men in the world M en dead in 
are either naturally dead in sin, or alive in Christ. If STsoui- 10 * 

1 T -, .,, , killed. A 

dead in sin, no man can kill them, no more than he can national en - 

,.,,,-. . forced reli* 

kill a dead man : nor is it a false teacher, or false religion. s ion or a 

o y ci\ 

civil war for 

5 ["Yet the very murderous religion, is a capital crime, whether 

attempt of killing a soul, in abusing the soul die of that wound or no." 

an ordinance of God, in corrupting a Cotton s Reply, p. 175.] 



that can so much prevent the means of spiritual life, as 
one of these two : either the force of a material sword, 

version d i m p r i gonm g ^he sou l s o f me n in a state or national religion, 
ministry, or worship : or, secondly, civil wars and com 
bustions for "religion s sake, whereby men are immediately 
cut off without any longer means of repentance. 

Now again, for the souls that are alive in Christ, he 
hath graciously appointed ordinances powerfully sufficient 
to maintain and cherish that life armour of proof able to 
defend them against men and devils. 

Secondly, the soul once alive in Christ, is like Christ 
himself, Rev. i. 18, alive for ever, Rom. vi. 8 ; and cannot 
die a spiritual death. 

Lastly, grant a man to be a false teacher, a heretic, a 

soui-kiiiers Balaam, a spiritual witch, a wolf, a persecutor, breathing 
out blasphemies against Christ and slaughters against his 

savers! followers, as Paul did, Acts ix. 1, I say, these who appear 
soul-killers to-day, by the grace of Christ may prove, as 
Paul, soul- savers to-morrow : and saith Paul to Timothy, 
1 Tim. iv. [16,] Thou shalt save thyself and them that hear 
thee : which all must necessarily be prevented, if all that 
comes within the sense of these soul-killers must, as guilty 
of blood, be corporally killed and put to death. 6 

8 [" As for such as apostate from proclaim a general pardon for all 

the known truth of religion, and malefactors; for he that is a wilful 

seek to subvert the foundation of it, murderer and adulterer now, may 

and to draw away others from it, to come to be converted and die a 

plead for their toleration, in hope of martyr hereafter." Cotton s Reply, 

their conversion, is as much as to p. 176."] ) 



Peace. Dear Truth, your answers are so satisfactory to 
Austin s speech, that if Austin himself were now living, 
methinks he should be of your mind. I pray descend to 
Optatus, " who," saith the answerer, " justifies Macarius optatus ex - 

n . t amined. 

for putting some heretics to death, affirming that he had 
done no more herein than what Moses, Phineas, and Elias 
had done before him." 

Truth. These are shafts usually drawn from the quiver 
of the ceremonial and typical state of the national church Persecutors 

J r ^ leave Christ, 

of the Jews, whose shadowish and figurative state vanished Sose/for 
at the appearing of the body and substance, the Sun of {?<!? prac " 
righteousness, who set up another kingdom, or church, 
Heb. xii. [27,] ministry and worship: in which we find 
no such ordinance, precept, or precedent of killing men by 
material swords for religion s sake. 

More particularly concerning Moses, I query what 
commandment/[or practice of Moses, either Optatus, or 
the answerer here intend? Probably that passage of 
Deut. xiii. [15,] wherein Moses appointed a slaughter, 
either of a person or a city, that should depart from the 
God of Israel, with whom that national church was in 
covenant. And if so, I shall particularly reply to that 
place in my answer to the reasons hereunder mentioned. 7 

Concerning Phineas s zealous act : 

First, his slaying of the Israelitish man, and woman of Phineas s 
Midian, was not for spiritual but corporal filthiness. cussed. 

Secondly, no man will produce his fact as precedential 

7 [" It appeareth he meant not idolaters; and that of Levit. xxiv., 

that passage of Deut. xiii., but of where he put the blasphemers to 

Exod. xxxii,, where he put to death death." Cotton s Reply, p. 178.] 

N 2 


to any minister of the gospel so to act, in any civil state 
or commonwealth; although I believe in the church of 
God it is precedential, for either minister or people, to kill 
and slay with the two-edged sword of the Spirit of God, any 
such bold and open presumptuous sinners as these were. 

Lastly, concerning Elijah : there were two famous acts 
of Elijah of a killing nature : 

First, that of slaying 850 of Baal s prophets, 1 Kings 
xviii. [40.] 8 

Secondly, of the two captains and their fifties, by fire, 

^ or *ke ^ rst ^ tnese > fr cannot figure, or type out, any 
examined. m aterial slaughter of the many thousands of false prophets 
in the world by any material sword of iron or steel : for 
as that passage was miraculous, 9 so find we not any such 
commission given by the Lord Jesus to the ministers of 
the Lord. And lastly, such a slaughter must not only 
extend to all the false prophets in the world, but, accord 
ing to the answerer s grounds, to the many thousands of 
thousands of idolaters and false worshippers in the king 
doms and nations of the world. 
Elijah s For the second act of Elijah, as it was also of a miracu- 


the two cap- l ous nature, so, secondlv, when the followers of the Lord 

tains and y 

panioMby J GSUS J Luke ix. [54,] proposed such a practice to the Lord 
fire, discus- j e g U g 3 f or injury offered to his own person, he disclaimed 
it with a mild check to their angry spirits, telling them 
plainly they knew not what spirits they were of: and 
addeth that gentle and merciful conclusion, that he came 
not to destroy the bodies of men, as contrarily anti-christ 

8 [" The text numbereth them 450 of Israel, to put to death 450 men, 
and he numbereth them 850." Cot- whose spirits were discouraged, being 
ton s Reply, p. 179.] convinced of their forgery and idol- 

9 [" Is it a miracle for Elijah, with atry?" Ib. p. 179.] 
the aid of so many thousand people 


doth alleging these instances from the Old Testament, as 
also Peter s killing Ananias, Acts v. 5, and Peter s vision 
and voice, Arise, Peter, kill and eat, Acts x. 13. 


Peace. You have so satisfied these instances brought by 
Optatus, that methinks Optatus and the answerer himself 
might rest satisfied. 

I will not trouble you with Bernard s argument from 
Rom. xiii., which you have already on that scripture so 
largely answered. But what think you, lastly, of Calvin, 
Beza, and Aretius ? 

Truth. Ans. Since matters of fact and opinion are 
barely related by the answerer without their grounds, 
whose grounds, notwithstanding, in this discourse are 
answered I answer, if Paul himself were joined with 
them, yea, or an angel from heaven bringing any other 
rule than what the Lord Jesus hath once delivered, we 
have Paul s conclusion and resolution, peremptory and 
dreadful, Gal. i. 8. 

Peace. This passage finished, let me finish the whole by 
proposing one conclusion of the author of the arguments, 1 
viz., fc lt is no prejudice to the commonwealth, if liberty of 
conscience were suffered to such as fear God indeed: 
Abraham abode a long time amongst the Canaanites, yet 
contrary to them in religion, Gen. xiii. 7, and xvi. 13. 
Again, he sojourned in Gerar, and King Abimelech gave 
him leave to abide in his land, Gen. xx., xxi., xxiii., xxiv. 

1 [See before, p. 17.] 


" Isaac also dwelt in the same land, yet contrary in re 
ligion, Gen. xxvi. 

" Jacob lived twenty years in one house with his uncle 
Laban, yet different in religion, Gen. xxxi. 

"The people of Israel were about four hundred and 
thirty years in that infamous land of Egypt, and after 
wards seventy years in Babylon: all which times they 
differed in religion from the states, Exod. xii., and 
2 Chron. xxxvi. 

" Come to the time of Christ, where Israel was under 
the Romans, where lived divers sects of religion^ as 
Herodians, Scribes, and Pharisees, Sadducees and Liber 
tines, Theudaaans and Samaritans, beside the common 
religion of the Jews, and Christ and his apostles. All 
which differed from the common religion of the state, 
which was like the worship of Diana, which almost the 
whole world then worshipped, Acts xix., xx. 

" All these lived under the government of Caesar, being 
nothing hurtful unto the commonwealth, giving unto Caesar 
that which was his. And for their religion and consciences 
towards God, he left them to themselves, as having no 
dominion over their souls and consciences : and when the 
enemies of the truth raised up any tumults, the wisdom of 
the magistrate most wisely appeased them, Acts xviii. 14, 
and xix. 35." 

Unto this the answerer returns thus much : 2 

"It is true, that without prejudice to the commonwealth, 
liberty of conscience may be suffered to such as fear God 
indeed, as knowing they will not persist in heresy or tur 
bulent schism, when they are convinced in conscience of 
the sinfulness thereof. But the question is, whether a 
heretic, after once or twice admonition, and so after con- 

a [See before, p. 30.] 


viction, and any other scandalous and heinous offender, 
may be tolerated either in the church without excommu 
nication, or in the commonweal without such punishment 
as may preserve others from dangerous and damnable 


Truth. I here observe the answerer s partiality, that 
none but such as truly fear God should enjoy liberty of 
conscience; whence the inhabitants of the world must 
either come into the estate of men fearing God, or else 
dissemble a religion in hypocrisy, or else be driven out of 
the world. One must follow. The first is only the gift 
of God ; the second and third are too commonly practised 
upon this ground. 

Again. Since there is so much controversy in the world 
where the name of Christ is taken up, concerning the true 
church, the ministry, and worship, and who are those that 
truly fear God ; I ask, who shall judge in this case, who be 
they that fear God? 

It must needs be granted, that such as have the power Dangerous 
of suffering, or not suffering such consciences, must judge : 

and then must it follow, as before I intimated, that the from the 

civil magis- 

civil state must judge of the truth of the spiritual ; and Jj at ^ J s u ? g ~ 
then magistrates fearing or not fearing God, must judge of 
the fear of God; also, that their judgment or sentence 
must be according to their conscience, of what religion 
soever : or that there is no lawful magistrate, who is not 
able to judge in such cases. And lastly, that since the 
sovereign power of all civil authority is founded in the 
consent of the people, that every common weal hath 


radically and fundamentally in it a power of true discern 

ing the true fear of God, which they transfer to their 

Smedu ld ma gi s trates an d officers : or else, that there are no lawful 

side down, kingdoms^ cities, or towns in the world, in which a man 

may live, and unto whose civil government he may sub 

mit : and then, as I said before, there must be no world, 

nor is it lawful to live in it, because it hath not a true 

discerning spirit to judge them that fear or not fear God. 

Lastly. Although this worthy answerer so readily 
grants, that liberty of conscience should be suffered to 
them that fear God indeed : yet we know what the minis- 

The wonder- 

ters Ot the churches of New England wrote in answer to 

of 6 ^e thirty-two questions sent to them by some ministers of 
Old England, 3 viz., that although they confessed them to 
ti dmwhf be such persons whom they approved of far above them- 

of Old Eng- , 

land. selves, yea, who were in their hearts to live and die toge 
ther; yet if they, and other godly people with them, 
coming over to them, should differ in church constitution, 
they then could not approve their civil cohabitation with 
them, and, consequently, could not advise the magistrates 
to suffer them to enjoy a civil being within their 

Hear, O heavens ! and give ear, O earth ! yea, let the 
heavens be astonished, and the earth tremble, at such an 
answer as this from such excellent men to such whom 
they esteem for godliness above themselves ! 

3 [An answer to thirty-two ques- New England. Published by Mr. 
tions by the elders of the churches in Peters ; Lond., 1643.] 



Peace. Yea, but they say, they doubt not if they were 
there but they should agree; for, say they, either you 
will come to us, or you may show us light to come to you, 
for we are but weak men, and dream not of perfection in 
this life. 

Truth. Alas, who knows not what lamentable differ- 
ences have been between the same ministers of the church 
of England, some conforming, others leaving their livings, 
friends, country, life, rather than conform; when others 
again, of whose personal godliness it is not questioned, 
have succeeded by conformity unto such forsaken (so 
called) livings ? How great the present differences, even 
amongst them that fear God, concerning faith, justification, 
and the evidence of it ? concerning repentance and godly nanters, of 
sorrow, as also and mainly concerning the church, the man y are i 

matter, form, administrations, and government of it ? in their 

truly godly 
in their 

Let none now think that the passage to New England 
by sea., or the nature of the country, can do what only the 
key of David can do, to wit, open and shut the consciences 
of men. 

Beside, how can this be a faithful and upright acknow 
ledgment of their weakness and imperfection, when they 
preach, print, and practise such violence to the souls and 
bodies of others, and by their rules and grounds ought to 
proceed even to the killing of those whom they judge so 
dear unto them, and in respect of godliness far above 
themselves ? 



Peace. Yea ; but, say they, the godly will not persist in 
heresy, or turbulent schism, when they are convinced in 
conscience, &c. 

Sne d of" P er- Truth. Sweet Peace, if the civil court and magistracy 
must judge, as before I have written, and those civil courts 

commonly, are as lawful, consisting of natural men as of godly per- 

falls heavi- 

most p o n di he sons > *ken wnat consequences necessarily will follow I 

persons. ^ave before mentioned. And I add, according to this 
conclusion it must follow, that, if the most godly persons 
yield not to once or twice admonition, as is maintained by 
the answerer, they must necessarily be esteemed obstinate 
persons ; for if they were godly, saith he, they would 
yield. Must it not then be said, as it was by one passing 
sentence of banishment upon some whose godliness was 
acknowledged, that he that commanded the judge not to 
respect the poor in the cause of judgment, commands him 
not to respect the holy or the godly person ? 

?ne d of c "per- Hence I could name the place and time when a godly 
dr C ivesthe nian, a most desirable person for his trade, &c., yet some- 
thing different in conscience, propounded his willingness 

of the world. _ _ . -I ii 

and desire to come to dwell in a certain town in New 
England ; it was answered by a chief of the place, This 
man differs from us, and we desire not to be troubled. 
So that in conclusion, for no other reason in the world, 
the poor man, though godly, useful, and peaceable, could 
not be admitted to a civil being and habitation on the 
common earth, in that wilderness, amongst them. 

The latter part of the answer, concerning the heretic, 
or obstinate person, to be excommunicated, and the 
scandalous offender to be punished in the commonweal, 


which neither of both come near our question : I have 
spoken [of] I fear too largely already. 

Peace. Mr. Cotton concludes with a confident persua 
sion of having removed the grounds of that great error, 
viz., that persons are not to be persecuted for cause of 

Truth. And I believe, dear Peace, it shall appear to 
them that, with fear and trembling at the word of the 
Lord, examine these passages, that the charge of error 
reboundeth back, even such an error as may well be 
called, The Bloody Tenent so directly contradicting the J| e * 1 t ood3r 
spirit, and mind, and practice of the Prince of peace ; so 
deeply guilty of the blood of souls, compelled and forced 
to hypocrisy in a spiritual and soul-rape ; so deeply guilty 
of the blood of the souls under the altar, persecuted in 
all ages for the cause of conscience, and so destructive 
to the civil peace and welfare of all kingdoms, countries, 
and commonwealths. 


Peace. To this conclusion, dear Truth, I heartily sub 
scribe, and know [that] the God, the Spirit, the Prince, 
the angels, and all the true awaked sons of peace, will call 
thee blessed. 

Truth. How sweet and precious are these contempla 
tions, but oh I how sweet the actions and fruitions ? 

Peace. Thy lips drop as the honey-comb, honey and milk 
are under thy tongue ; oh ! that these drops, these streams, 
might flow without a stop or interruption ! 

Truth. The glorious white troopers (Rev. xix.) shall 
in time be mounted, and he that is the most high Prince 


of princes, and Lord General of generals mounted upon 
the word of truth and meekness, Psalm xlv., shall triumph 
gloriously, and renew our meetings. But hark, what 
noise is this ? 

conscience Peace. These are the doleful drums, and shrill-sounding 
trumpets, the roaring, murdering cannons, the shouts of 
conquerors, the groans of wounded, dying, slaughtered 
righteous with the wicked. Dear Truth, how long ? how 
long these dreadful sounds and direful sights ? how long 
before my glad return and restitution ? 

Truth. Sweet Peace, who will believe my true report ? 
yet true it is, if I were once believed, blessed Truth and 
Peace should not so soon be parted. 

Peace. Dear Truth, what welcome hast thou found of 
late beyond thy former times, or present expectations ? 

Truth. Alas ! my welcome changes as the times, and 
strongest swords and arms prevail : were I believed in 
this, that Christ is not delighted with the blood of men, 
but shed his own for his bloodiest enemies that by the 
word of Christ no man for gainsaying Christ, or joining 
with the enemy anti-christ, should be molested with the 
civil sword. Were this foundation laid as the Magna 

Magna essed Charta of highest liberties, and good security given on all 
rta * hands for the preservation of it, how soon should every 
brow and house be stuck with olive branches ? 

Peace. This heavenly invitation makes me bold once 
more to crave thy patient ear and holy tongue. Error s 
impatient and soon tired, but thou art light, and like the 
Father of lights, unwearied in thy shinings. Lo here ! 
what once again I present to thy impartial censure. 









Truth. What hast thou there ? 

Peace. Here is a combination of thine own children A strange 
against thy very life and mine : here is a model, framed church and 
by many able, learned, and godly hands, of such a church weal > after 

J J the Mosaical 

and commonweal as wakens Moses from his unknown pattern 8 * 1 
grave, and denies Jesus yet to have seen the earth. 

Truth. Begin, sweet Peace, read and propound. My 
hand shall not be tired with holding the balances of the 
sanctuary : do thou put in, and I shall weigh as in the 
presence of Him whose pure eyes cannot behold iniquity. 

Peace. Thus, then, speaks the preface or entrance: Matt.xri. 

19, with 

" Seeing God hath given a distinct power to church and 5.5$ 
commonweal, the one spiritual (called the power of the ntfiiiV 
keys), the other civil (called the power of the sword), ^VS. 23, 
and hath made the members of both societies subject to 
both authorities, so that every soul in the church is subject 


to the higher powers in the commonweal, and every mem 
ber of the commonweal, being a member of the church, is 
subject to the laws of Christ s kingdom, and in him to the 
censures of the church : the question is, how the civil 
state and the church may dispense their several governments 
without infringement and impeachment of the power and 
honour of the one or of the other, and what bounds and 
limits the Lord hath set between both the administrations." 
Christ s Truth. From that conclusion, dear Peace, that " every 

power in his a 

church con- member of the commonweal, being a member oi the 

fessed to be 

magistrates church, is subject to the laws of Christ s kingdom, and in 

lnin p gk ritual Him to the censures of the church :" I observe, that 

they grant the church of Christ in spiritual causes to be 

superior and over the highest magistrates in the world, if 

members of the church. 

Hence therefore I infer, may she refuse to receive, and 
may also cast forth any, yea, even the highest, if obstinate 
in sin, out of her spiritual society. 

Hence, in this spiritual society, that soul who hath most 
of Christ, most of his Spirit, is most (spiritually) honour 
able, according to the scriptures quoted, Acts xv. 20; Isa. 
xlix. 23; Gal. iii. 28. 

And if so, how can this stand with their common tenent 
that the civil magistrate must keep the first table : set up, 
reform the church: and be judge and governor in all 
ecclesiastical as well as civil causes ? 2 

23 Secondly, I observe the lamentable wresting of this one 
scripture, Isa. xlix. 23. Sometimes this scripture must 

a ["If princes be nursing fathers offensive government of the church: 
to the church, then they are to pro- and yet may themselves, being mem- 
vide that the children of the church bers of the church, be subject to 
be not nursed with poison instead of church censure in the offensive go- 
milk. And in so doing they keep vernment of themselves against the 
the first table. . . . Princes sit on rules of the gospel." Cotton s Reply, 
the bench over the church in the p. 194.] 


prove the power of the civil magistrates, kings, and 
governors over the church in spiritual causes, &c. Yet 
here this scripture is produced to prove kings and magis 
trates (in spiritual causes) to be censured and corrected 
by the same church. It is true in several respects, he 
that is a governor may be a subject ; but in one and the 
same spiritual respect to judge and to be judged, to sit on 
the bench and stand at the bar of Christ Jesus, is as 
impossible as to reconcile the east and west together. 


The fast head) that both jurisdictions may stand together. 

Peace. " Whereas divers affecting transcending power The first 
to themselves over the church, have persuaded the princes ammed. 
of the world that the kingdom of Christ in his church 
cannot rise or stand without the falls of those common 
weals wherein it is set up, we do believe and profess the John xvii. 
contrary to this suggestion ; the government of the one 
being of this world, the other not ; the church helping Jer xxix 7 
forward the prosperity of the commonweal by means only 
ecclesiastical and spiritual ; the commonweal helping for- Ezra vii 23 
ward her own and the church s felicity by means political 
or temporal : the falls of commonweals being known to 
arise from their scattering and diminishing the power of 
the church, and the flourishing of commonweals with the 
well ordering of the people, even in moral and civil 
virtues, being observed to arise from the vigilant adminis 
tration of the holy discipline of the church: as Bodin, a 
man not partial to church discipline, plainly testifieth. 
The vices in the free estate of Geneva, que legibus nus- 


quam vindicantur, by means of church discipline, sine vi et 
tumultu coercentur ; the Christian liberty not freeing us 
from subjection to authority, but from enthralment and 
bondage unto sin." 3 

co h mmo V n- Truth. Ans. From this conclusion, that the church, or 
5?itu n ai the kingdom of Christ, may be set up without prejudice of the 

common- , -.. T1 /. 7 

weal, the commonweal, according to Jonn xvm. oo, My kingdom is 
inconsi st- not of this world* &c., I observe, that although the kingdom 

ent, though 

the^on 111 f Christ, the church, and the civil kingdom or govern- 
the other. men ^ ]^ e no ^ inconsistent, but that both may stand to 
gether; yet that they are independent according to that 
scripture, and that therefore there may be, as formerly I 
have proved, flourishing commonweals and societies of men, 
where no church of Christ abideth. And, secondly, the 
commonweal may be in perfect peace and quiet, notwith 
standing the church, the commonweal of Christ, be in 
distractions and spiritual oppositions, both against their 
religions and sometimes amongst themselves, as the church 
of Christ in Corinth troubled with divisions, contentions, 

Secondly, I observe, it is true the church helpeth for 
ward the prosperity of the commonweal by spiritual 
means, Jer. xxix. 7. The prayers of God s people procure 
the peace of the city where they abide ; yet, that Christ s 
ordinances and administrations of worship are appointed 
and given by Christ to any civil state, town, or city, as is 

3 [Under the influence of Calvin were regulated : but three courses 

the legislation of Geneva was entirely were allowed, and each course to 

theocratic. Idolatry, adultery, curs- consist of only four dishes. Great 

ing and striking parents, were punish- efforts were also made, which gave 

able with death. Imprisonment was rise to many civil commotions, to 

inflicted for every immorality at the remove from office under the state 

instance of the church courts. Women persons excommunicated by the 

were forbidden to wear golden orna- church. Henry s Das Leben Calvins, 

ments, and not more than two rings p. 173, edit. 1843.] 
on their fingers. Even their feasts 


implied by the instance of Geneva, that I confidently 

The ordinances and discipline of Christ Jesus, though Jurist s or - 

1 dinances put 

wrongfully and profanely applied to natural and unre- 
generate men, may cast a blush of civility and morality 
upon them, as in Geneva and other places for the shining 
brightness of the very shadow of Christ s ordinances casts tianize 


a shame upon barbarism and incivility yet withal, I 
affirm, that the misapplication of ordinances to unre- 
generate and unrepentant persons hardens up their souls 
in a dreadful sleep and dream of their own blessed estate, 
and sends millions of souls to hell in a secure expectation 
of a false salvation. 


The second head, concerning superiority of each power. 

Peace. " Because contention may arise in future times The second 

which of these powers under Christ is the ereatest, as it cerni W su 
periority of 

hath been under anti-christ, we conceive, first, that the Ro^nf 1 
power of the civil magistrate is superior to the church iiTx. ; 2?. a 
policy in place, honours, dignity, earthly power, in the 
world; and the church superior to him, being a member 
of the church, ecclesiastically ; that is, in a church way, 
ruling and ordering him by spiritual ordinances according 
to God s [word], for his soul s health, as any other mem 
ber. So that all the power the magistrate hath over the Luke xn. 14, 
church is temporal, not spiritual ; and all the power the And that 

* judicium of 

church hath over the magistrate is spiritual, not temporal. 
And as the church hath no temporal power over the 
magistrate, in ordine ad bonum spiritual ; so the magistrate 



hath no spiritual power over the church in ordinc ad bonum 

" Secondly, the delinquency of either party calleth for 
the exercise of the power of terror from the other part ; 
for no rulers ordained of God are a terror to good works, 
but to evil. Rom. xiii. 3. So that if the church offend, 
the offence of the church calleth upon the civil magistrate, 
either to seek the healing thereof as a nursing father, by 
his own grave advice and the advice of other churches ; or 
else, if he cannot so prevail, to put forth and exercise the 
superiority of his power in redressing what is amiss, 
according to the quality of the offence, by the course of 
civil justice. 

" On the other side, if the magistrate being a member 
of the church shall offend, the offence oalleth upon the 
church either to seek the healing thereof in a brotherly 
way, by conviction of his sin ; or else, if they cannot 
* prevail, then to exercise the superiority of their power in 
removing of the offence, and recovering of the offender, 
by church censures." 

Answer. Trutli. If the end of spiritual or church power is bonum 

spirituale, a spiritual good : and the end of civil or state 

power is bonum temporale, a temporal good ; and secondly, 

if the magistrate have no spiritual power to attain to his 

A contradic- temporal end, no more than a church hath any temporal 

make the power to attain to her spiritual end, as is confessed : I 

magistrate r 

fudgeTnspi- Demand, if this be not a contradiction against their own 
causes, and disputes, tenets, and practices, touching that question of 
io spiritual persecution for cause of conscience. For if the magistrate 

Power. . . 

be supreme judge, and so, consequently, give supreme 
judgment, sentence, and determination, in matters of the 
first table and of the church, and be custos utriusque tabula, 
[the] keeper of both tables (as they speak), and yet have 
no spiritual power as is affirmed how can he determine 


what the true church and ordinances are, and then set 
them up with the power of the sword ? How can he give 
judgment of a false church, a false ministry, a false doc 
trine, false ordinances, and with a civil sword pull them 
down, if he have no spiritual power, authority, or commis 
sion from Christ Jesus for these ends and purposes ? 

Further, I argue thus : If the civil officer of state must 
determine, judge, and punish in spiritual causes, his power, 
authority, and commission must be either spiritual or civil, 
or else he hath none at all : and so acts without a com 
mission and warrant from the Lord Jesus ; and so, 
consequently, [he] stands guilty at the bar of Christ 
Jesus, to answer for such his practice as a transcendent 

Now for civil power, these worthy authors confess that Th civil 


the government of the civil magistrate extendeth no fur- j^^JJ 11 to 

ther than over the bodies and goods of the subject, and 
therefore hath no civil power over the soul, and therefore, men 8 : f 
say I, not in soul-causes. 

Secondly. It is here confessed, in this passage, that to 
attain his civil end, or bonum temporale, he hath no spiritual t n u a r 1 8piri 
power; and therefore, of necessity, out of their own 
mouths must they be judged for provoking the magistrate, 
without either civil or spiritual power, to judge, punish, 
and persecute in spiritual causes ; and to fear and tremble, 
lest they come near those frogs which proceed out of the 
mouth of the dragon, and beast, and false prophet, who, 
by the same arguments which the authors here use, stir 
up the kings of the earth to make war against the Lamb, 
Christ Jesus, and his followers, Rev. xvii. 14. 

O 2 



In the next place, I observe upon the point of delin 
quency, such a conclusion as heaven and earth may stand 
amazed at. If the church offend, say they, after advice 
refused, in conclusion the magistrate must redress, that is 
punish the church, that is in church offences and cases, by 
a course of civil justice. 

On the other side, if the civil magistrate offend after 
admonition used, and not prevailing, in conclusion the 
church proceeds to censure, that is to excommunication, 
as is afterward more largely proved by them. 

Now I demand, if the church be a delinquent, who 

shall judge? It is answered, the magistrate. Again, if 

trate^ifd the magistrate be a delinquent, I ask who shall judge ? 

bytheau- It is answered, the church. Whence I observe which is 

thor s 

grounds, at monstrous in all cases in the world that one person, to 

one and the 

w it, the church or magistrate, shall be at one time the 
delinquent at the bar and the judge upon the bench. 
This is clear thus: The church must judge when the 

bench and 

delinquents magistrate offends : and yet the magistrate must ludge 

at the bar. < J 

when the church offends. And so, consequently, in this 
case [the magistrate] must judge, whether she contemn 
civil authority in the second table, for thus dealing with 
him: or whether she have broken the rules of the first 
table, of which (say they) G od hath made him keeper and 
conserver. And therefore, though the church make him a 
delinquent at the bar, yet by their confession God hath 
made him a judge on the bench. What blood, what tu 
mults, have been and must be spilt upon these grounds ? 

Peace. Dear Truth, no question but the church may 
punish the magistrate spiritually, in spiritual cases; and 


the magistrate may punish the church civilly., in civil 
cases ; but that for one and the same cause the church 
must punish the magistrate, and the magistrate the church, 
this seems monstrous, and needs explication. 

Truth. Sweet Peace, I illustrate with this instance : A An illustra 
tion, demon- 
true church of Christ, of which, according to the authors th r e a S that 

supposition, the magistrate is a member, chooseth and calls 
one of her members to office. The magistrate opposeth. 

. in spiritual 

The church, persuaded that the magistrates exceptions are or church 


insufficient according to her privilege, which these au 
thors maintain against the magistrates prohibition pro 
ceeds to ordain her officer. The magistrate chargeth the 
church to have made an unfit and unworthy choice, and, 
therefore, according to his place and power, and according 
to his conscience and judgment, he suppresseth such an 
officer, and makes void the church s choice. Upon this 
the church complains against the magistrate s violation of 
her privileges given her by Christ Jesus, and cries out 
that the magistrate is turned persecutor, and, not prevail 
ing with admonition, she proceeds to excommunication 
against him. The magistrate, according to his conscience, 
endures not such profanation of ordinances as he con 
ceives ; and therefore, if no advice and admonition prevail, 
he proceeds against such obstinate abusers of Christ s holy 
ordinances (as the authors grant he may) in civil court of 
justice, yea, and I add according to the pattern of Israel 
cuts them off by the sword, as obstinate usurpers and 
profaners of the holy things of Christ. 

I demand, what help hath any poor church of Christ in The pu nish- 

,. -, ...,. Pol , ments civil 

this case, by maintaining this power of the magistrate to which 
punish the church of Christ, I mean in spiritual and soul- trate inflicts 

upon the 

cases ? for otherwise I question not but he may put all the Jjjjj 
members of the church to death justly, if they commit Jj; 
crimes worthy thereof, as Paul spake, Acts xxv. 11. 


Shall the church here fly to the pope s sanctuary against 
emperors and princes excommunicate, to wit, give away 
their crowns, kingdoms, or dominions, and invite foreign 
princes to make war upon them and their territories? 
The authors surely will disclaim this; and yet I shall 
prove their tenets tend directly unto such a practice. 

Or secondly, shall she say the magistrate is not a true 
magistrate, because not able to judge and determine in 
such cases? This their confession will not give them 
leave to say, because they cannot deny unbelievers to be 
lawful magistrates : and yet it shall appear, notwithstand 
ing their confession to the contrary, their tenets imply 
that none but a magistrate after their own conscience is a 
lawful magistrate. 

Therefore, thirdly, they must ingenuously and honestly 
confess, that if it be the duty of the magistrate to punish 
the church in spiritual cases, he must then judge according 
to his conscience and persuasion, whatever his conscience 
be : and then let all men judge into what a woful state 
they bring both the civil magistrate and church of Christ, 
by such a church-destroying and state-destroying doctrine. 

Peace. Some will here say, in such a case either the 
magistrate or the church must judge ; either the spiritual 
or civil state must be supreme. 

[Truth. } I answer, if the magistrate be of another 

Firstt What hath tne church to judge him being with- 
pcein out? 1 Cor. v. [12, 13.] 
between?he Secondly. If he be a member of the church, doubtless 
the magis- the church hath power to judge, in spiritual and soul-cases, 
with spiritual and church censures, all that are within, 
1 Cor. v. 111. 

Thirdly. If the church offend against the civil peace of 
the state, by wronging the bodies or goods of any, the 



magistrate bears not the sword in vain, Rom. xiii. 4, to 
correct any or all the members of the church. And this 
I conceive to be the only way of the God of peace. 


The third head concerns the end of both these powers. 

\Peace.~\ "First, the common and last end of both is 
God s glory, and man s eternal felicity. 

" Secondly. The proper ends 

" First, of commonwealth, is the procuring, preserving, 
increasing of external and temporal peace and felicity of 
the state, in all godliness and honesty, 1 Tim. ii. 1, 2. 

" Secondly, of the church, a begetting, preserving, 
increasing of internal and spiritual peace and felicity of 
the church, in all godliness and honesty, Esay. ii. 3, 4, 
and ix. 7. So that magistrates have power given them 
from Christ in matters of religion, because they are bound 
to see that outward peace be preserved, not in all ungod 
liness and dishonesty, for such peace is Satanical; but in 
all godliness and honesty, for such peace God aims at. 
And hence the magistrate is custos of both the tables of 
godliness, in the first of honesty, in the second for peace s 
sake. He must see that honesty be preserved within his 
jurisdiction, or else the subject will not be bonus cives. 
He must see that godliness as well as honesty be pre 
served, else the subject will not be bonus vir, who is the 
best bonus cives. He must see that godliness and honesty 
be preserved, or else himself will not be bonu magistratus."* 

* Chamier. De Eccles. p. 376. Parker, part, polit. lib. i. cap. 1. 


Truth. In this passage here are divers particulars 

affirmed, marvellously destructive both to godliness and 

honesty, though under a fair mask and colour t)f both. 

The garden First, it will appear that in spiritual things they make 

hurch and ^he garden and the wilderness, as often I have intimated 

the wilder- o 

wortd m^e I say the garden and the wilderness, the church and the 
world, are all one : for thus, 

If the powers of the world, or civil state, are bound to 
propose external peace in all godliness for their end, and 
the end of the church be to preserve internal peace in all 
godliness, I demand, if their end (godliness) be the same, 
is not their power and state the same also? unless they 
make the church subordinate to the commonwealth s end, 
or the commonweal subordinate to the church s end, 
which being the governor and setter up of it, and so 
consequently the judge of it it cannot be. 

Tne-eom- Now if godliness be the worshipping and walking with 


Gcl in Christ, is not the magistrate and commonweal 
charged more by this tenet with the worship and ordi 
nances, than nances of God, than the church? for the magistrate they 

the church. . _.- . 

charge with the external peace in godliness, and the 
Church but with the internal. 

I ask further, what is this internal peace in all godli 
ness? whether intend they internal, within the soul, which 
only the eye of God can see, opposed to external, or visible, 
which man also can discern ? or else, whether they mean 
internal, that is spiritual, soul-matters, matters of God s 
worship ? and then I say, that peace, to wit, of godliness 
or God s worship, they had before granted to the civil 

The authera Peace. The truth is, as I now perceive, the best and 
positions most godly of that judgment declare themselves never to 
saw a true have seen a true difference between the church and the 


between the WOJ: \& an d the spiritual and civil state ; and howsoever 


these worthy authors seem to make a kind of separation 
from the world, and profess that the church must consist 
of spiritual and living stones, saints, regenerate persons, 
and so make some peculiar enclosed ordinances, as the 
supper of the Lord, which none, say they, but godly 
persons must taste of; yet, by compelling all within their 
jurisdiction to an outward conformity of the church wor 
ship, of the word and prayer, and maintenance of the 
ministry thereof, they evidently declare that they still 
lodge and dwell in the confused mixtures of the unclean 
and clean, of the flock of Christ and herds of the world 
together I mean, in spiritual and religious worship. 

Truth. For a more full and clear discussion of this 
scripture, 1 Tim. ii. 1, 2, on which is weakly built such a 
mighty building, I shall propose and resolve these four 


First, what is meant by godliness and honesty in this i Tim. ii. i, 

2, discussed. 

place ? 

Secondly, what may the scope of the Holy Spirit of 
God be in this place ? 

Thirdly, whether the civil magistrate was then custos 
utriusque tabula, keeper of both tables ? &c. 

Fourthly, whether a church, or congregation of Chris 
tians, may not live in godliness and honesty, although the 
civil magistrate be of another conscience and worship, and 
the whole state and country with him ? 

To the first, what is here meant by godliness and 
honesty ? 


Answ. I find not that the Spirit of God here intendeth 
the first and second table. 
The -word F O r, however the word tvtjeQtia signify godliness, or the 

honesty, in J fc 


worship of God, yet the second word, o-Ejuvorrje, I find not 
that it signifies such an honesty as compriseth the duties of 
ighteous- r the second table, but such an honesty as signifies solemnity, 

secondtabie. gravity; and so it is turned by the translator, Tit. ii. 7, lv 
rrj SiScKTKaXiq a&a00optav, <r/ivorrjra, that is, in doctrine 
[showing] incorruptness, gravity: which doctrine cannot 
there be taken for the doctrine of the civil state, or second 
table, but the gravity, majesty, and solemnity of the spi 
ritual doctrine of Christianity. So that, according to the 
translators own rendering of that word in Titus, this 
place of Timothy should be thus rendered, in all godliness, 
or worshipping of God, and gravity ; that is, a solemn or 
grave profession of the worship of God. And yet this 
mistaken and misinterpreted scripture, is that great castle 
and stronghold which so many fly unto concerning the 
magistrates charge over the two tables. 

Secondly, what is the scope of the Spirit of God in this 
place ? 

God s C s P iri f ^ answer fi rst > negatively; the scope is not to speak 

o? Timo p tb e of tne duties of the first and second table. 

Nor, secondly, is the scope to charge the magistrate 
with forcing the people, who have chosen him, to godli 
ness, or God s worship, according to his conscience the 
magistrate keeping the peace of external godliness, and 
the church of internal, as is affirmed ; but, 

Secondly, positively ; I say the Spirit of God by Paul 
in this place provokes Timothy and the church at Ephesus, 
and so consequently all the minis ters of Christ s churches, 
and Christians, to pray for two things : 

First > for tne peaceable and quiet state of the countries 
and places of their abode ; that is implied in their praying, 


as Paul directs them, for a quiet and peaceable condition, 

and suits sweetly with the command of the Lord to his llve m :< 

people, even in Babel, Jer. xxix. 7, pray for the peace of 

the city, and seek the good of it ; for in the peace thereof it 

shall go well with you. Which rule will hold in any 

pagan or popish city, and therefore consequently are p^n 6 ^ 

God s people to pray against wars, famines, pestilences, p 

and especially to be far from kindling coals of war, and 

endeavour the bringing in and advancing their conscience 

by the sword. 

Secondly, they are here commanded to pray for the 
salvation of all men; that all men, and especially kings 
and magistrates, might be saved, and come to the know 
ledge of the truth ; implying that the grave or solemn 
and shining profession of godliness, or God s worship, 
according to Christ Jesus, is a blessed means to cause all 
sorts of men to be affected with the Christian profession, 
and to come to the same knowledge of that one God and 
one Mediator, Christ Jesus. All which tends directly 
against what it is brought for, to wit, the magistrates ^ e r n ci t n s of 
forcing all men to godliness, or the worshipping of God. ^!J * r 
Which in truth causeth the greatest breach of peace, and ^J 
the greatest distractions in the world, and the setting up 
that for godliness or worship which is no more than " 
Nebuchadnezzar s golden image, a state-worship, and in 
some places the worship of the beast and his image, Dan. 
iii., Rev. xiii. 



Thirdly, I query, whether the civil magistrate, which 
was then the Roman emperor, was keeper or guardian of 
both tables, as is affirmed ? 

Scripture and all history tell us, that those Caesars were 
described. not Q ^ ig nOY{m t, without God, without Christ, &c. ; but 
professed worshippers, or maintainers, of the Roman gods 
or devils; as also notorious for all sorts of wickedness; 
and, lastly, cruel and bloody lions and tigers toward the 
Christians for many hundred years. 

Hence, I argue from the wisdom, love, and faithfulness 

of the Lord Jesus in his house, it was impossible that he 

Not appoint- should appoint such ignorant, such idolatrous, such 

ed hy Christ 

wicked, and such cruel persons to be his chief officers 
w s a chur n ch. f and deputy lieutenants under himself to keep the worship 
of God, to guard his church, his wife. No wise and 
loving father was ever known to put his child, no not 
his beasts, dogs, or swine, but unto fitting keepers. 

Men judge it matter of high complaint, that the records 
of parliament, the king s children, the Tower of London, 
the great seal, should be committed to unworthy keepers ! 
And can it be, without high blasphemy, conceived that 
the Lord Jesus should commit his sheep, his children, 
yea, his spouse, his thousand shields and bucklers in the 
tower of his church, and lastly, his great and glorious 
broad seals of baptism and his supper, to be preserved 
pure in their administrations I say, that the Lord Jesus, 
who is wisdom and faithfulness itself, should deliver these 
to such keepers ? 

Peace. Some will say, it is one thing what persons are 
in fact and practice; another what they ought to be by 
right and office. 


Truth. In such cases as I have mentioned, no man doth 
in the common eye of reason deliver such matters of 
charge and trust to such as declare themselves and sins 
(like Sodom) at the very time of this great charge and 
trust to be committed to them, 

Peace. It will further be said, that many of the kings 
of Judah, who had the charge of establishing, reforming 
and so, consequently, of keeping the first table the 
church, God s worship, &c., were notoriously wicked, 
idolatrous, &c. 

Truth. I must then say, the case is not alike ; for when 
the Lord appointed the government of Israel after the 
rejection of Saul, to establish a covenant of succession in 
the type unto Christ, let it be minded what pattern and 
precedent it pleased the Lord to set for the after kings of 
Israel and Judah, in David, the man after his own heart. 

But now the Lord Jesus being come himself, and 
having fulfilled the former types, and dissolved the Jt pleased 
national state of the church, and established a more Lord jesns, 

. . .in the first 

spiritual way of worship all the world over, and appointed institution 
a spiritual government and governors, it is well known 
what the Roman Caesars were, under whom both Christ 

commit the 


Jesus himself, and his servants after him, lived and y* 

<Y, , , ._-___ in , _ unto whom 

sunered ; so that if the Lord Jesus had appointed anv he lni s ht 

^ commit t 

such deputies as we find not a tittle to that purpose, nor JJJJjf * 
have a shadow of true reason so to think he must, I say, 
in the very first institution, have pitched upon such per* 
sons for these custodes utriusque tabulae, keepers of both 
tables, as no man wise, or faithful, or loving, would have 
chosen in any of the former instances, or cases of a more 
inferior nature. 

Beside, to that great pretence of Israel, I have largely 
spoken to. 

Secondly. I ask, how could the Roman Caesars, or any 


civil magistrates, be custodes, keepers of the church and 
worship of God, when, as the authors of these positions 
acknowledge, that their civil power extends but to bodies 
and goods ? 

And for spiritual power they say they have none, ad 
lonum temporale (to a temporal good), which is their 
proper end ; and then, having neither civil nor spiritual 
power from the Lord Jesus to this purpose, how come 
they to be such keepers as is pretended ? 

The true Thirdly. If the Roman emperors were keepers, what 
which keepers were the apostles, unto whom the Lord Jesus 

Christ Jesus 

appointed gave the care and charge of the churches, and by whom 
andworship the Lord Jesus charged Timothy, 1 Tim. vi. 14, to keep 
those commands of the Lord Jesus without spot until his 
coming ? 

These keepers were called the foundation of the church, 
Eph. ii. 20, and made up the crown of twelve stars about 
the head of the woman, Rev. xii. 1 ; whose names were 
also written in the twelve foundations of [the] New 
Jerusalem, Rev. xxi. 14. 

Yea, what keepers then are the ordinary officers of the 
church, appointed to be the shepherds or keepers of the 
flock of Christ; appointed to be the porters or door 
keepers, and to watch in the absence of Christ? Mark xiii. 
34 ; Acts xx. [2831.] 

Yea, what charge hath the whole church itself, which is 

the pillar and around of the truth, 1 Tim. i. 15, in the 

midst of which Christ is present with his power, 1 Cor. v. 

4, to keep out or cast out the impenitent and obstinate, 

even kings and emperors themselves, from their spiritual 

society ? 1 Cor. v. ; James iii. 1 ; Gal. iii. 28. 

The tings Fourthly. I ask, whether in the time of the kings of 

Syrians, &c., Israel and Judah whom I confess in the tvpical and 

not charged 

nat i na l state to be charged with both tables I ask, whe- 


ther the kings of the Assyrians, the kings of the Ammon- 


ites, Moabites, Philistines, were also constituted and afand typ 

ordained keepers of the worship of God as the kings of 
Judah were, for they were also lawful magistrates in their 
dominions? or, whether the Roman emperors were custodes, 
or keepers, more than they ? or more than the king of 
Babylon, Nebuchadnezzar, under whose civil government 
God s people lived, and in his own land and city ? Jer. xxix. 


Peace. You remember, dear Truth, that Constantine, constan- 

3 tine, Theo 

Theodosius, and others, were made to believe that they dosius > &c -> 

J mis-in- 

were the antitypes of the kings of Judah, the church of formed - 
God ; and Henry VIII. was told that that title, Defensor 
Jidei, defender of the faith, though sent him by the pope 
for writing against Luther, was his own diadem, due unto 
him from Heaven. So likewise since, the kings and queens 
of England have been instructed. 

Truth. But it was not so from the beginning, as that 
very difference between the national state of the church 
of God then, and other kings and magistrates of the world, 
not so charged, doth clearly evince, and leadeth us to the 
spiritual king of the church, Christ Jesus, the king of 
Israel, and his spiritual government and governors therein. 

Fifthly. I ask, whether had the Roman Caesars more 
charge to see all their subjects observe and submit to the 
worship of God in their dominion of the world, than a Masters of 
master, father, or husband now, under the gospel, in his under the 

gospel, not 

i charged to 

force all 

Families are the foundations of government ; for what 


* s a commonweal but a commonweal of families, agreeing 
to live together for common good ? 

Now in families, suppose a believing Christian husband 
hath an unbelieving, anti-christian wife, what other charge 
in this respect is given to a husband, 1 Cor. vii. [12 15], 
but to dwell with her as a husband, if she be pleased to 
dwell with him ? but, to be so far from forcing her from 
her conscience unto his, as that if for his conscience sake 
she would depart, he was not to force her to tarry with him, 
1 Cor. vii. Consequently, the father or husband of the 
state differing from the commonweal in religion, ought not 
to force the commonweal nor to be forced by it, yet is he to 
continue a civil husband s care, if the commonweal will 
live with him, and abide in civil covenant. 

Now as " a husband by his love to the truth, and holy 
conversation in it, and seasonable exhortations, ought to 
endeavour to save his wife, yet abhorring to use corporal 
punishment, yea, in this case to child or servant : so ought 
the father, husband, governor of the commonweal, endea 
vour to win and save whom possibly he may, yet far from 
the appearance of civil violence. 

charge of Sixthly. If the Roman emperors were charged by 
Siip wliT Christ with his worship in their dominion, and their do- 

left with the .. .-, -i -, .-, -, . . r> -i 

Roman minion was over the world, as was tne dominion or the 
then was he Grecian. Persian, and Babylonian monarchy before them, 

bound to . 

turn the W h gees no f if ^ ne w hole world be forced to turn Christ- 

whole world 

garde?, 6 i an as afterward and since it hath pretended to do who 

spou^o? sees not then, that the world, for whom Christ Jesus would 

not pray, and the god of it, are reconciled to Jesus Christ, 

and the whole field of the world become his enclosed 

garden ? 

Minions put Seventhly. If the Roman emperors ought to have been 
by Christ s appointment keepers of both tables, antitypes 
of Israel and Judah s kings; how many millions of 


idolaters and blasphemers against Christ Jesus and his 
worship, ought they to have put to death, according to 
Israel s pattern ! 

Lastly. I ask, if the Lord Jesus had delivered his 
sheep and children to these wolves, his wife and spouse to 
such adulterers, his precious jewels to such great thieves 
and robbers of the world, as the Roman emperors were, 
what is the reason that he was never pleased to send any 
of his servants to their gates to crave their help and 2 1 n r t is a t n " e j f er 
assistance in this his work, to put them in mind of their tenorser. 
office, to challenge and claim such a service from them, civil magis- 
according to their office, as it pleased God always to send hel p in 

* spiritual 

to the kings of Israel and Judah, in the like case ? matters. 

Peace. Some will here object Paul s appealing to 

Truth. And I must refer them to what I formerly 
answered to that objection. Paul never appealed to 
Caesar as a judge appointed by Christ Jesus to give 
definitive sentence in any spiritual or church controversy ; 
but against the civil violence and murder which the Jews 
intended against him, Paul justly appealed. For other 
wise, if in a spiritual cause he should have appealed, he 
should have overthrown his own apostleship and power 
given him by Christ Jesus in spiritual things, above the 
highest kings or emperors of the world beside.. 


Peace. Blessed Truth, I shall now remember you of 
the fourth query upon this place of Timothy ; to wit, 
whether a church of Christ Jesus may not live in God s 
worship and comeliness, notwithstanding that the civil 



magistrate profess not the same but a contrary religion 
and worship, in his own person and the country with 
him ? 

Truth. I answer ; " the churches of Christ under the 
Roman emperors did live in all godliness and Christian 
gravity, as appears by all their holy and glorious practices, 
which the scripture abundantly testifies. 

Christ Jesus Secondly. This flows from an institution or appoint- 
power in MS men t of such a power and authority, left by the Lord 

church to 

Kef/pure Jesus to his apostles and churches, that no ungodliness or 

ido iaSou n s an dishonesty, in the first appearance of it, was to be 

suffered, but suppressed and cast out from the churches of 

Christ, even the little leaven of doctrine or practice, 

1 Cor. v. ; Gal. v. 

Lastly, I add, that although sometimes it pleaseth the 
Lord to vouchsafe his servants peace and quietness, and to 
command them [as] here in Timothy to pray for it, for 
those good ends and purposes for which God hath ap 
pointed civil magistracy in the world, to keep the world 
in peace and quietness : yet God s people have used most 
pie d have to a kound with godliness and honesty, when they have 
shine^n enjoyed least peace and quietness. Then, like those spices, 
godliness Cant. iv. 14, myrrh, frankincense, saffron, calamus, &c., 
have n e njoy- they have yielded the sweetest savour to God and man, 
quietness, when they were pounded and burnt in cruel persecution of 
the Roman censors. Then are they, as God s venison, 
most sweet when most hunted : God s stars shining bright 
est in the darkest night : more heavenly in conversation, 
more mortified, more abounding in love each to other, 
more longing to be with God, when the inhospitable and 
savage world hath used them like strangers, and forced 
them to hasten home to another country which they profess 
to seek. 



Peace. Dear Truth, it seems not to be unreasonable to 
close up this passage with a short descant upon the asser 
tion, viz., " A subject without godliness will not be bonus 
vir, a good man, and a magistrate, except he see godliness 
preserved, will not be bonus magistrates." 

Truth. I confess that without godliness, or a true wor- Few magis- 
shipping of God with an upright heart, according to God s menJpwtu- 
ordinances, neither subjects nor magistrates can please chri stiani y 
God in Christ Jesus, and so be spiritually or Christianly 
good ; which few magistrates and few men either come to, 
or are ordained unto: God having chosen a little flock 
out of the world, and those generally poor and mean, 
1 Cor. i. 26 ; James ii. 5, yet this I must remember you 
of, that when the most high God created all things of 
nothing, he saw and acknowledged divers sorts of good- Yet divers 
ness, which must still be acknowledged in their distinct ^tuIiT 8 
kinds : a good air, a good ground, a good tree, a good 
sheep, &c. 

I say the same in artificials, a good garment, a good 
house, a good sword, a good ship. 

I also add, a good city, a good company or corporation, 
a good husband, father, master. 

Hence also we say, a good physician, a good lawyer, a 
good seaman, a good merchant, a good pilot for such or 
such a shore or harbour : that is, morally, civilly good, in 
their several civil respects and employments. 

Hence (Ps. cxxii.) the church, or city of God, is com 
pared to a city compact within itself; which compactness 
may be found in many towns and cities of the world, 
where yet hath not shined any spiritual or supernatural 

P 2 


goodness. Hence the Lord Jesus, Matt. xii. [25,] 
describes an ill state of a house or kingdom, viz., to be 

O y 

divided against itself, which cannot stand. 
of These I observe to prove, that a subject, a magistrate, 
may be a good subject, a good magistrate, in respect of 
civil or moral goodness, which thousands want ; and where 
although it is, it is commendable and beautiful, though godliness, 
proper to the wn i cn ^ s infinitely more beautiful, be wanting, and which 
tatter* is only proper to the Christian state, the commonweal of 
Granting. Israel, the true church, the holy nation, Ephes. ii. ; 
1 Pet. ii. 

Lastly, however the authors deny that there can be 
bonus magistratuS) a good magistrate, except he see all 
godliness preserved ; yet themselves confess that civil 
honesty is sufficient to make a good subject, in these 
words, viz., " He must see that honesty be preserved 
within his jurisdiction, else the subject will not be bonus 
elves, a good citizen ;" and doubtless, if the law of relations 
hold true, that civil honesty which makes a good citizen, 
must also, together with qualifications fit for a commander, 
make also a good magistrate. 


Peace. The fourth head is, The proper means of both 
these powers to attain their ends. 

" First, the proper means whereby the civil power may 
and should attain its end, are only political, and princi 
pally these five. 

" First, the erecting and establishing what form of civil 
government may seem in wisdom most meet, according to 
general rules of the word, and state of the people. 


" Secondly, the making, publishing, and establishing of 
wholesome civil laws, not only such as concern civil jus 
tice, but also the free passage of true religion : for outward 
civil peace ariseth and is maintained from them both, from 
the latter as well as from the former. 

" Civil peace cannot stand entire where religion is cor 
rupted, 2 Chron. xv. 3, 5, 6 ; Judges viii. And yet such 
laws, though conversant about religion, may still be 
counted civil laws : as on the contrary, an oath doth still 
remain religious, though conversant about civil matters. 

(( Thirdly, election and appointment of civil officers, to 
see execution of those laws. 

"Fourthly, civil punishments and rewards of trans 
gressors and observers of these laws. 

" Fifthly, taking up arms against the enemies of civil 

" Secondly, the means whereby the church may and 
should attain her ends, are only ecclesiastical, which are 
chiefly five. 

" First, setting up that form of church government 
only of which Christ hath given them a pattern in his 

" Secondly, acknowledging and admitting of no law 
giver in the church but Christ, and the publishing of his 

" Thirdly, electing and ordaining of such officers only 
as Christ hath appointed in his word. 

"Fourthly, to receive into their fellowship them that 
are approved, and inflicting spiritual censures against them 
that offend. 

" Fifthly, prayer and patience in suffering any evil from 
them that be without, who disturb their peace. 

" So that magistrates, as magistrates, have no power of 
setting up the form of church government, electing church 


officers, punishing with church censures; but to see that 
the church doth her duty herein. And on the other side, the 
churches, as churches, have no power, though as members 
of the commonweal they may have power, of erecting or 
altering forms of civil government, electing of civil officers, 
inflicting civil punishments no, not on persons excom 
municated as by deposing magistrates from their civil 
authority, or withdrawing the hearts of the people against 
them, to their laws, no more than to discharge wives, or 
children, or servants, from due obedience to their husbands, 
parents, or masters: or by taking up arms against their 
magistrates, though they persecute them for conscience: 
for though members of churches, who are public officers, 
also of the civil state, may suppress by force the violence 
of usurpers, as Jehoiada did Athaliah, yet this they do 
not as members of the church, but as officers of the civil 

Truth. Here are divers considerable passages, which I 
shall briefly examine so far as concerns our controversy. 

First, whereas they say, that the civil power may erect 
and establish what form of civil government may seem in 
wisdom most meet : I acknowledge the proposition to be 
most true, both in itself, and also considered with the end 
of it, that a civil government is an ordinance of God, to 
conserve the civil peace of people so far as concerns their 
bodies and goods, as formerly hath been said. 
chii power But from this grant I infer, as before hath been touched, 


me d nta?ij a in that the sovereign, original, and foundation of civil power, 
he people. jj eg - Q ^ p eO p]^ e wnom they must needs mean by the 

civil power distinct from the government set up: and if 
so, that a people may erect and establish what form of 
government seems to them most meet for their civil con 
dition. It is evident that such governments as are by 
them erected and established, have no more power, nor for 


no longer time, than the civil power, or people consenting 
and agreeing, shall betrust them with. This is clear not 
only in reason, but in the experience of all commonweals, 
where the people are not deprived of their natural freedom 
by the power of tyrants. 

And if so that the magistrates receive their power of Mr cotton 

and the New 


governing the church from the people undeniably it jf 8 8 h j; 
follows, that a people, as a people, naturally considered, menfc?" 
of what nature or nation soever in Europe, Asia, Africa, SSSSi," or 
or America, have fundamentally and originally, as men, a Se Emda of 

the people, 

power to govern the church, to see her do her duty, to or common- 
correct her, to redress, reform, establish, &c. And if this 
be not to pull God, and Christ, and Spirit out of heaven, 
and subject them unto natural, sinful, inconstant men, and 
so consequently to Satan himself, by whom all peoples 
naturally are guided, let heaven and earth judge. 

Peace. It cannot, by their own grant, be denied, but The very in- 

e . . dian Ameri- 

tnat the wildest Indians in America ought (and in their cans made 

governors of 

kind and several degrees do) to agree upon some forms 
government, some more civil compact in towns, &c., some 
less. As also, that their civil and earthly governments be 
as lawful and true as any governments in the world, and 
therefore consequently their governors are keepers of the 
church, of both tables, if any church of Christ should arise 
or be amongst them : and therefore, lastly, if Christ have 
betrusted and charged the civil power with his church, 
they must judge according to their Indian or American 
consciences, for other consciences it cannot be supposed 
they should have. 



Truth. Again, whereas they say that outward civil 
peace cannot stand where religion is corrupted ; and quote 
for it 2 Chron. xv. 3,, 5, 6, and Judges viii. 

I answer, with admiration, how such excellent spirits, 
as these authors are furnished with, not only in heavenly 
but earthly affairs, should so forget, and be so fast asleep 
in things so palpably evident, as to say that outward civil 
peace cannot stand where religion is corrupt. When so 
Many dvii many stately kingdoms and governments in the world 

en j ove d civil peace and quiet, not- 
?he e LoTl ere withstanding their religion is so corrupt, as that there is 
6ouded. not not the very name of Jesus Christ amongst them. And 
this every historian, merchant, traveller, in Europe, Asia, 
Africa, America, can testify : for so spake the Lord Jesus 
himself, John xvi. [20,] The world shall sing and rejoice. 

Secondly, for that scripture, 2 Chron. xv. 3, &c., re 
lating the miseries of Israel and Judah, and God s plagues 
upon that people for corruption of their religion, it must 
still have reference to that peculiar state unto which God 
called the seed of one man, Abraham, in a figure, dealing 
so with them as he dealt not with any nation in the world, 
Ps. cxlvii., Rom. ix. 

The antitype to this state I have proved to be the 
Christian church, which consequently hath been and is 
afflicted with spiritual plagues, desolations, and captivities, 
for corrupting of that religion which hath been revealed 
unto them. This appears by the seven churches ; and the 
people of God, now so many hundred years in woful 
bondage and slavery to the mystical Babel, until the time 
of their joyful deliverance. 


Peace. Yea ; but they say that " such laws as are con 
versant about religion may still be accounted civil laws, 
as on the contrary an oath doth still remain religious, 
though conversant about civil matters." 

Truth. Laws respecting religion are twofold. Laws con . 

First, such as concern the acts of worship and the wor- SSf3tf" 
ship itself, the ministers of it, their fitness or unfitness, to re 
be suppressed or established : and for such laws we find 
no footing in the New Testament of Jesus Christ. 

Secondly, laws respecting religion may be such as O r civil. 
merely concern the civil state, bodies, and goods of such 
and such persons, professing these and these religions; 
viz., that such and such persons, notorious for mutinies, 
treasons, rebellions, massacres, be disarmed: again, that 
no persons, papists, Jews, Turks, or Indians, be disturbed 
at their worship, a thing which the very Indians abhor to The very in 

dians abhor 

practise toward any. Also, that immunity and freedom to disturb 
from tax and toll may be granted unto the people of such ^S? p at 
or such a religion, as the magistrate pleaseth, Ezra vii. 24. 

These and such as are of this nature, concerning only 
the bodies and goods of such and such religious persons, I 
confess are merely civil. 

But now, on the other hand, that laws restraining canons and 

n T T -i i .1 constitu- 

persons from such and such a worship, because the civil tions pre 
tended civil 
state judgem it to be false : but indecd 


That laws constraining to such and such a worship, cal> 
because the civil state judgeth this to be the only true 
way of worshipping God : 

That such and such a reformation of worship be sub 
mitted unto by all subjects in such a jurisdiction : 

That such and such churches, ministers, ministries, be 
pulled down, and such and such churches, ministries, and 
ministrations, set up : 

That such laws properly concerning religion, God, the 


souls of men, should be civil laws and constitutions, is as 
far from reason as that the commandments of Paul, which 
he gave the churches concerning Christ s worship (1 Cor. 
xi. and 1 Cor. xiv.), were civil and earthly constitutions : 
or that the canons and constitutions of either oecumenical 
or national synods, concerning religion, should be civil and 
state conclusions and arguments. 

To that instance of an oath remaining religious, though 
conversant about civil things ; I answer and acknowledge, 
-" an oatn ma y ^ e s pi r itual, though taken about earthly 
business ; and accordingly it will prove, and only prove, 
pMtui. what before I have said, that a law may be civil though it 
concern persons of this and of that religion, that is, as the 
persons professing it are concerned in civil respects of 
bodies or goods, as I have opened; whereas if it concern 
the souls and religions of men, simply so considered in 
reference to God, it must of necessity put on the nature 
of religious or spiritual ordinance or constitution. 

Beside, it is a most improper and fallacious instance; 
for an oath, being an invocation of a true or false God to 
judge in a case, is an action of a spiritual and religious 
nature, whatever the subject matter be about which it is 
taken, whether civil or religious: but a law or constitution 
may be civil or religious, as the subject about which it is 
conversant is either civil, merely concerning bodies or 
goods ; or religious, concerning soul and worship. 


Peace. Their fifth head is concerning the magistrates 
power in making of laws. 

" First, they have power to publish and apply such civil 


laws in a state, as either are expressed in the word of God 
in Moses s judicials to wit, so far as they are of general 
and moral equity, and so binding all nations in all ages 
to be deducted by way of general consequence and pro 
portion from the word of God, 

" For in a free state no magistrate hath power over the 
bodies, goods, lands, liberties of a free people, but by their 
free consents. And because free men are not free lords of 
their own estates, but are only stewards unto God, there 
fore they may not give their free consents to any magis 
trate to dispose of their bodies, goods, lands, liberties, at 
large as themselves please, but as God, the sovereign 
Lord of all, alone. And because the word is a perfect 
rule, as Avell of righteousness as of holiness, it will be 
therefore necessary that neither the people give consent, 
nor that the magistrate take power to dispose of the 
bodies, goods, lands, liberties of the people, but according 
to the laws and rules of the word of God, 

" Secondly, in making laws about civil and indifferent 
things about the commonweal, 

" First, he hath no power given him of God to make 
what laws he please, either in restraining from or con 
straining to the use of indifferent things; because that 
which is indifferent in its nature, may sometimes be inex 
pedient in its use, and consequently unlawful, 1 Cor. ii. 5, 
it having been long since defended upon good ground, 
Quicquid non expedit, quatenus non credit, non licet. 

" Secondly, he hath no power to make any such law r s 
about indifferent things, wherein nothing good or evil is 
shown to the people, but only on principally the mere 
authority or will of the imposer, for the observance of them, 
Col. ii. 21, 22 ; 1 Cor. vii. 23, compared with Eph. vi. 6. 

" It is a prerogative proper to God to require obedience 
of the sons of men, because of his authority and will. 


" The will of no man is regula recti, unless first it be 
regula recta. 

ff It is an evil speech of some, that in some things the 
will of the law, not the ratio of it, must be the rule of 
conscience to walk by ; and that princes may forbid men 
to seek any other reason but their authority, yea, when 
they command frivola et dura. And therefore it is the 
duty of the magistrate, in all laws about indifferent things, 
to show the reasons, not only the will: to show the ex 
pediency, as well as the indifferency of things of that 

" For we conceive in laws of this nature, it is not the 
will of the lawgiver only, but the reason of the law which 
binds. Ratio est rex legis, et lex est rex regis. 

" Thirdly, because the judgment of expedient and inex 
pedient things is often difficult and diverse, it is meet that 
such laws should not proceed without due consideration of 
the rules of expediency set down in the word, which are 
these three: 

" First, the rule of piety, that they may make for the 
glory of God, 1 Cor. x. 31. 

" Secondly, the rule of charity, that no scandal come 
hereby to any weak brother, 1 Cor. viii. 13. 

" Thirdly, the rule of charity, that no man be forced to 
submit against his conscience, Rom. xiv. 14, 23, nor be 
judged of contempt of lawful authority, because he is not 
suddenly persuaded of the expediency of indifferent things; 
for if the people be bound by God to receive such laws 
about such things, without any trial or satisfaction to the 
conscience, but must judge them expedient because the 
magistrate thinks them so, then the one cannot be pun 
ished in following the other, in case he shall sin in calling 
inexpedient expedient; but Christ saith the contrary, If 
the blind lead the blind, they shall both fall." 


Truth. In this passage these worthy men lay down such 

fession of 

a ground as the gates of hell are not able to shake, con- the liberty 
cerning the magistrates walking in indifferent things : and science, 
upon which ground that tower of Lebanon may be raised, laws of civil 

* authoritj-ya. 

whereon there hang a thousand shields and bucklers, 
Cant. iv. 4, to wit, that invincible truth, that no man is to 
be persecuted for cause of conscience. The ground is 
this, " The magistrate hath not power to make what laws 
he please, either in restraining or constraining to the use 
of indifferent things." And further they confess, that the 
reason of the law, not the will of it, must be the rule of 
conscience. And they add this impregnable reason, viz. 
"If the people be bound to receive such laAvs without 
satisfaction to conscience, then one cannot be punished 
for following the other, in case he shall sin contrary to 
Christ Jesus, who saith, If the blind lead the blind, they shall 
both fall." 

Hence I argue, if the civil magistrate have no power to 
restrain or constrain their subjects in things in their own S 
nature indifferent, as in eating of meats, wearing this or 

that garment, using this or that gesture ; but that they ent thing* 
are bound to try and examine his commands, and satisfy 
their own reason, conscience, and judgment before the 
Lord, and that they shall sin, if they follow the magis 
trate s command, not being persuaded in their own soul 
and conscience that his commands are according to God : 
it will be much more unlawful and heinous in the magis 
trate to compel the subjects unto that which, according to 
their consciences persuasion, is simply unlawful, as unto a 
falsely constituted church, ministry, worship, administra 
tion, and they shall not escape the ditch, by being led 
blindfold by the magistrate ; but though he fall in first, 
yet they shall [fall] in after him and upon him, to his 
greater and more dreadful judgment. 


In particular thus, if the magistrate may restrain me 
from that gesture in the supper of the Lord which I am 
persuaded I ought to practise, he may also restrain me by 
his commands from that supper of the Lord itself in such 
or such a church, according to my conscience. 

If he cannot, as they grant, constrain me to such or 
such a garment in the worship of God, can he constrain 
me to worship God by such a ministry, and with such 
worship, which my soul and conscience cannot be per 
suaded is of God ? 

If he cannot command me in that circumstance of time 
to worship God, this or that day, can he command me to 
the worship itself? 

guiit r Mng d Peace. Methinks I discern a threefold guilt to lie upon 
such civil powers as impose upon and enforce the conscience, 
though not unto the ministration and participation of the 
seals, 5 yet either to depart from that worship which it is 
persuaded of, or to any exercise or worship which it hath 
not faith in. 

First. Of an appearance of that Arminian, popish doc 
trine of freewill, as if it lay in their own power and ability to 
believe upon the magistrate s command, since it is confessed 
that what is submitted to by any without faith it is sin, be 
it never so true and holy, Rom. xiv. 23. 

Secondly. Since God only openeth the heart and work- 
eth the will, Phil. ii. [13,] it seems to be a high pre 
sumption to suppose, that together with a command 
restraining from or constraining to worship, that God is 
also to be forced or commanded to give faith, to open the 
heart, to incline the will, &c. 

Thirdly. A guilt of the hypocrisy of their subjects and 
people, in forcing them to act and practise in matters of 

8 [That is, baptism and the Lord s supper.] 


religion and worship against the doubts and checks of 
their consciences, causing their bodies to worship when 
their souls are far off, to draw near with their lips, their 
hearts being far off, &c. 

With less sin ten thousand-fold may a natural father 
force his daughter, or the father of the commonweal force jJJJJd to 1 * 
all the maidens in a country to the marriage-beds of such th 

and such men whom they cannot love, than the souls of to worship 

where they 

these and other subjects to such worship or ministry, 
which is either a true or false bed, Cant* i. 16. 

Truth. Sweet Peace, your conclusions are undeniable, 
and oh ! that they might sink deep into those noble and 
honourable bosoms it so deeply concerns ! But proceed. 


Peace. In that fifth head they further say thus : 
" Thirdly. In matters ecclesiastical we believe, first, 
that civil magistrates have no power to make or constitute 
laws about church affairs, which the Lord Jesus hath not 
ordained in his word for the well-ordering of the church ; 
for the apostle solemnly chargeth Timothy, and in him all 
governors of the church, before God and the Lord Jesus 
Christ, who is the only Potentate, the King of kings and 
Lord of lords, that the commandment given by him for 
the ordering of the church be kept without spot, unrebuke- 
able, to the appearing of the Lord Jesus Christ, 1 Tim. vi. 14, 
15. And this commandment given in the word, the 
apostle saith, is able to make the man of God perfect in all 
righteousness, 2 Tim. iii. 17. And, indeed, the administra 
tion of all Christ s affairs, doth immediately aim at spi 
ritual and divine ends, as the worship of God, and the 


salvation of men s souls : and, therefore,no law nor means 
can be devised by the wisdom or wit of man that can be 
fit or able to reach such ends ; but use must be made of 
such only as the divine wisdom and holy will of God hath 

" Secondly. We believe the magistrate s power in 
making laws about church affairs, is not only thus limited 
and restrained by Christ to matters which concern the 
substance of God s worship and of church government, 
but also such as concern outward order : as in rites and 
ceremonies for uniformity s sake. For we find not in the 
gospel, that Christ hath anywhere provided for the uni 
formity of churches, but only for their unity. 

" Paul, in matters of Christian liberty, commendeth the 
unity of their faith in the Holy Spirit, giving order that 
we should not judge nor condemn one another, in differ 
ence of judgment and practice of such things where men 
live to God on both sides, even though there were some 
error on one side, Rom. xiv. 1 6. How much less in 
things indifferent, where there may be no error on either 

"When the apostle directeth the church of Corinth, 
that all things be done decently and in order, he meant not 
to give power to church officers or to civil magistrates, to 
order whatever they should think meet for decency and 
order ; but only to provide that all the ordinances of God 
be administered in the church decently, without unnatural 
or uncivil uncomeliness, as that of long hair, or women s 
prophesying, or the like ; and orderly, without confusion 
or disturbance of edification, as the speaking of many at 
once in the church. 

"Thirdly. We do nevertheless willingly grant, that 
magistrates, upon due and diligent search what is the 
counsel and will of God in his word concerning the right 


ordering of the church,, may and ought to publish and de 
clare, establish and ratify, such laws and ordinances as 
Christ hath appointed in his word for the well ordering of 
church affairs : both for the gathering of the church, and 
the right administration of all the ordinances of God 
amongst them, in such a manner as the Lord hath ap 
pointed to edification. The law of Artaxerxes, Ezra vii. 
23, was not usurpation over the church s liberty ; but a 
royal and just confirmation of them : Whatsoever is com 
manded by the God of heaven : -for why should there he 
wrath against [the realm of] the king and his sons ? " 

Truth. Dear Peace, methinks I see before mine eyes a 
wall daubed up, of which Ezekiel speaks, with untempered 
mortar. Here they restrain the magistrate from making 
laws, either concerning the substance or ceremony of reli 
gion, but such only as Christ hath commanded ; and those, 
say they, they must publish and declare after the example 
of Artaxerxes. 

I shall herein perform two things: first, examine this 
magistrate s duty to publish, declare, &c., such laws and 
ordinances as Christ hath appointed. 

Secondly, I shall examine that proof from Artaxerxes, 
Ezra vii. 23, 

In the first, methinks I hear the voice of the people of God s Israel 

Jl-iO e Tt r 7 7 desin 

srael, 1 bam. vm. o, Make us a king, that may rule over us Sau1 

of fle 

after the manner of the nations : rejecting the Lord ruling 
over them by his holy word, in the mouth of his prophets, 
and sheltering themselves under an arm of flesh ; which 
arm of flesh G od gave them in Ms anger, and cut off again 
in his wrath, after he had persecuted David, the figure of 
Christ Jesus, who hath given his people the sceptre and 
sword of his word and Spirit, and refused a temporal 
crown or weapons in the dispensation of his kingdom. 
Where did the Lord Jesus or his messengers charge the 


desirous of 
s arm 


civil magistrate, or direct Christians to petition him, to 
publish,, declare, or establish by his arm of flesh and earthly 
weapons,, the religion and worship of Christ Jesus ? 

I find the beast and false prophet,, whose rise and doc 
trine is not from heaven, but from the sea and earth, 
dreadful and terrible, by a civil sword and dignity, 
Rev. xiii. 2. 

I find the beast hath gotten the power and might of the 
kings of the earth, Rev. xvii. 13. 

hea e ded ven " But the Lamb s weapons are spiritually mighty, 2 Cor. 

the La a mb x. [4,] &c., his sword is two-edged, coming out of his 

their wea- mouth, Rev. i. [16.] His preparations for war are white 
horses and white harness, which are confessed by all to be 
of a spiritual nature, Rev. xix. 

Naboth s When that whore Jezebel stabbed Naboth with her pen, 

case typical. 

in stirring up the people to stone him as a blasphemer of 
God and the king, what a glorious mask or veil of holiness 
she put on ? Proclaim a fast, set a day apart for humilia 
tion ; and for confirmation, let all be ratified by the king s 
authority, name, and seal, 1 Kings xxi. 8, 9. 

Was not this recorded for all God s Naboths, standing 
for their spiritual interests in heavenly things typed out 
by the typical earth and ground of Canaan s land that 
they through patience and comfort of the scriptures might 
have hope ? Rom. xv. 4. 

Again, I demand, who shall here sit [to] judge, whether 
the magistrate command any other substance or ceremony 
but what is Christ s ? 

By their former conclusions, every soul must judge 
what the magistrate commandeth, and is not bound, even 
in indifferent things, to the magistrates law, further than 
his own soul, conscience, and judgment ascends to the 
reason of it. Here, the magistrate must make laws for 
that substance and ceremony which Christ appointed. 


But yet lie must not do this with his eyes open, but blind 
fold and hoodwinked ; for if he judge that to be the reli 
gion of Christ, and such to be the order therein,, which 
their consciences judge otherwise, and assent not to, they 
profess they must submit only to Christ s laws, and there 
fore they are not bound to obey him. 

Oh ! what is this but to make use of the civil powers civil powers 

abused as a 

and governors of the world, as a guard about the spiritual g 
bed of soul-whoredoms, in which the kings of the earth 
commit spiritual fornication with the great whore, Rev. 
xvii. 2, as a guard, while the inhabitants of the earth 
are drinking themselves drunk with the wine of her 
fornication ? 

But oh ! what terrifying?, what allurings are in Jere 
my s curse and blessing ! Jer. xvii. [5,] Cursed is the man 
that trusteth in man, that makcth Jlesh his arm, too, too 
common in spiritual matters and whose heart departeth 
from Jehovah : he shall be as a heath in the wilderness even 
in the spiritual and mystical wilderness and shall not see 
when comfort comes, but shall abide in drought in the wilder 
ness, in a barren land, &c. 


Peace. Oh ! what mysteries are these to flesh and blood ! 
how hard for flesh to forsake the arm thereof! But pass 
on, dear Truth, to their proof propounded, Ezra vii. 23, 
wherein Artaxerxes confirmed by law whatever was com 
manded by the God of heaven. 

Truth. In this scripture I mind, first, the people of God Ezra vii. 23, 

* discussed. 

captivated under the dominion and government of the 
kings of Babel and Persia, 

Q 2 


Secondly. Artaxerxes s favour to these captives, 

1. Of freedom to their consciences. 

2. Of bounty towards them. 

3. Of exempting of some of them from common 

Thirdly. Punishments on offenders. 

Fourthly. The ground that carries him on to all this. 

Fifthly. Ezra praising of God for putting this into the 
heart of the king. 

not subject 6 Concerning the people of God the Jews, they were as 
of Babel or lambs and sheep in the iaws of the lion, the dearly be- 

Persia in * 

spirituals. l ovec l o f his soul under the devouring tyrants of the world, 
both the Babylonian and the Persian, far from their own 
nation and the government of their own anointed kings, 
the figures of the true King of the Jews, the Lord Jesus 

In this respect it is clear, that the Jews were no more 
subject to the kings of Babylon and Persia in spiritual 
things, than the vessels of the sanctuary were subject to 
the king of Babel s use, Dan. v. 

Concerning this king, I consider, first, his person : a 
gentile idolater, an oppressing tyrant, one of those devour 
ing beasts, Dan. vii. and viii. A hand of bloody conquest 
set the crown upon the head of these monarchs ; and 
although in civil things they might challenge subjection, 
yet why should they now sit down in the throne of 
Israel, and govern the people and church of God in spiri 
tual things ? 

Secondly. Consider his acts of favour, and they will not 
amount to a positive command that any of the Jews 

mollified ,-,-, -IM-II p i 

towards should go up to build the temple, nor that any ot them 
ple - should practise his own worship, which he kept and judged 

the best for his own soul and people. 

It is true, he freely permits them and exerciseth a 


bounteous assistance to them. All which argues no more, 
but that sometimes it pleaseth God to open the hearts of 
tyrants greatly to favour and further his people. Such 
favour found Nehemiah and Daniel, and others of God s 
people have and shall find, so often as it pleaseth him to 
honour them that honour him before the sons of men. 

Peace. Who sees not how little this scripture contributes 
to their tenent? But why, say some, should this king 
confirm all with such severe punishments ? and why for all 
this should Ezra give thanks to God, if it were not imit- 
able for after times ? 

Truth. The law of God, which he confirmed, he knew 
not, and therefore neither was, nor could he be a judge in 
the case. 

And for his ground, what was it but the common Nebuchad- 

. . m nezzar, Da- 

terrors and convictions of an affrighted conscience ? rius > a "d 


In such fits and pangs, what have not Pharaohs, Sauls, 

Ahabs, Herods, Agrippas spoken ? And what wonderful examined - 
decrees have Nebuchadnezzar, Cyrus, Darius, Artaxerxes, 
put forth concerning the God of Israel, Dan. iii. and vi., 
and Ezra i. and vii., &c. ; and yet as far from being 
charged with, as they were from being affected to, the spi 
ritual crown, of governing the worship of God, and the 
conscience of his people. 

It is true, Ezra most piously and justly gave thanks to f h z J ggiv .. 
God for putting such a thing into the heart of the king ; J^ s r tha 
but what makes this a pattern for the laws of civil gover- 
nors now under the gospel ? It suited well with that 
national state of God s church, that the gentile king 
should release them, permit them to return to their own 
land, assist them with other favours, and enable them to 
execute punishments upon offenders according to their 
national state. 

But did God put such a thing as this into the heart of 


the king, viz., to restrain upon pain of death all the mil 
lions of men under his dominion from the idolatries of 
their several and respective countries ? to constrain them 
all, upon the like penalty, to conform to the worship of 
the God of Israel, to build him a temple, erect an altar, 
ordain priests, offer sacrifice, observe the fasts and feasts of 
Israel ? Yea, did God put it into the king s heart to send 
Levites into all the parts of his dominion, compelling them 
to hear ? which is but a natural thing, as some unsoundly 
speak, 6 unto which all are bound to submit. 

Well, however, Ezra gives thanks to God for the king ; 
Sdvii 70 * and so should all that fear God in all countries, if he 
wardthe would please to put it into the hearts of the kings, states, 


Bub ects an( ^ P ar li amen tSj to take off the yokes of violence, and 
permit, at least, the consciences of their subjects, and es 
pecially such as in truth make conscience of their worships 
to the God of Israel : and yet, no cause for Ezra then, or 
God s Ezras and Israelites now, to acknowledge the care 
and charge of God s worship, church, and ordinances, to lie 
upon the shoulders of Artaxerxes, or any other civil 
prince or ruler. 

Lastly. For the confirmation or ratification which 
they suppose magistrates are bound to give to the laws of 
Christ, I answer, God s cause, Christ s truth, and the two- 
edged sword of his word, never stood in need of a tempo 
ral sword or a human witness to confirm and ratify them. 
If we receive the witness of an honest man, the witness of 
the most holy God is greater, 1 John v. 9. 

the e e S xam- The result and sum of the whole matter is this: 
tiie kings 1. It may please God sometimes to stir up the rulers of 


the earth to permit and tolerate, to favour and countenance, 

Bcripture. Q 0( J> g p eO pl e m fa^fr worg hipg, though Only OUt of SOHIC 

6 [See Bi-oadmead Records, Introd. pp. xli., Ixxxvii. | 


strong conviction of conscience or fear of wrath, &c. : and 
yet themselves neither understand God s worship, nor 
leave their own state, idolatry, or country s worship. 

For this God s people ought to give thanks unto God ; 
yea, and all men from this example may learn, not to 
charge upon the magistrates conscience besides the care 
of the civil peace, the bodies and goods of men the 
spiritual peace, in the worship of God and souls of 
men ; but hence are magistrates instructed favourably to 
permit their subjects in their worships, although themselves 
be not persuaded to submit to them, as Nebuchadnezzar, 
Cyrus, Darius, and Artaxerxes did. 


Peace. The sixth question is this : How far the church 
is subject to their laws ? 

" All those," say they, " who are members of the 
commonweal are bound to be subject to all the just and 
righteous laws thereof, and therefore, membership in 
churches not cutting men off from membership in common 
weals, they are bound to be subject, even every soul, 
Rom. xiii. 1, as Christ himself and the apostles were in 
their places wherein they lived. And therefore to exempt 
the clergy, as the papists do, from civil subjection, and to 
say that generatio clerici is corruptio subditi, is both sinful 
and scandalous to the gospel of God ; and though all are 
equally subject, yet church members are more especially 
bound to yield subjection, and the most eminent most 
especially bound, not only because conscience doth more 
strongly bind, but also because their ill examples arc 


more infectious to others, pernicious to the state, and pro 
voke God s wrath to bring vengeance on the state. 

" Hence, if the whole church, or officers of the church, 
shall sin against the state, or any person, by sedition, con 
tempt of authority, heresy, blasphemy, oppression, slander, 
or shall withdraw any of their members from the service 
of the state without the consent thereof, their persons and 
estates are liable to civil punishments of magistrates, ac 
cording to their righteous and wholesome laws, Exod. 
xxii. 20 ; Levit. xxiv. 16 ; Deut. xiii. 5, and xviii. 10." 

Truth. What concerns this head in civil things, I gladly 
subscribe unto : what concerns heresy, blasphemy, &c., I 
have plentifully before spoken to, and shall here only say 
two things. 

First. Those scriptures produced concern only the peo 
ple of God in a church estate, and must have reference 
only to the church of Christ Jesus, which, as Mr. Cotton con- 
fesseth, 7 is not national but congregational, of so many as 
may meet in one place, 1 Cor. xiv. [23,] and therefore no 
civil state can be the antitype and parallel : to which pur 
pose, upon the eleventh question, I shall at large show the 
difference between the national church and state of Israel, 
and all other states and nations in the world. 

Secondly. If the rulers of the earth are bound to put 
rf to death a11 th at worship other gods than the true God, or 

off aii hopes that blaspheme (that is, speak evil of in a lesser or higher 
jeTs of e P ar- degree) that one true God : it must unavoidably follow, 

taking in 

Ws blood, that the beloved for the Father s sake, the Jews, whose very 
religion blasphemeth Christ in the highest degree I say, 

7 I" If a prince should, by covenant warrant his work." A Survey of the 

and oath, make his whole kingdom a Sum of Ch. Discipline, &cjfpart 2, 

national church, he should do more Argument 12.] 
than he hath any word of Christ to 


they are actually sons of death,, and all to be immediately 
executed according to those quoted scriptures. And 

Secondly. The towns, cities, nations, and kingdoms of T ^ e | reful 
the world, must generally be put to the sword, if they 
speedily renounce not their gods and worships, and so cease 
to blaspheme the true God by their idolatries. This 
bloody consequence cannot be avoided by any scripture 
rule, for if that rule be of force, Deut. xiii. and xviii., not 
to spare or show mercy upon person or city falling to 
idolatry, that bars out all favour or partiality ; and then 
what heaps upon heaps in the slaughter-houses and 
shambles of civil laws must the world come to, as I have 
formerly noted ; and that unnecessarily, it being not 
required by the Lord Jesus for his sake, and the magis 
trate s power and weapons being essentially civil, and so 
not reaching to the impiety or ungodliness but the incivility 
and unrighteousness of tongue or hand. 


Peace. Dear Truth, these are the poisoned daggers 
stabbing at my tender heart ! Oh, when shall the Prince 
of peace appear, and reconcile the bloody sons of men ! 
but let me now propose their seventh head : viz., 

" In what order may the magistrate execute punish 
ment on a church or church member that offendeth his 
laws ? 

" First. Gross and public, notorious sins, which are 
against the light of conscience, as heresy, &c., there the 
magistrate keeping him under safe ward should send the 
offender first to the church to heal his conscience, still 
provided that the church be both able and willing there- 


unto : by which means the magistrate shall convince such 
a one s conscience that he seeketh his healing, rather than 
his hurt. 

" The censure also against him shall proceed with more 
power and blessing, and none shall have cause to say that 
the magistrate persecutes men for their consciences, but 
that he justly punishes such a one for sinning rather 
against his conscience, Tit. iii. 10. 

" Secondly, in private offences how the magistrate may 
proceed, see chap. xii. It is not material whether the 
church or magistrate take it first in hand. Only with 
this caution, that if the state take it first in hand, they are 
not to proceed to death or banishment, until the church 
hath taken their course with him, to bring him to repent 
ance, provided that the church be willing and ready 

" Secondly, in such sins wherein men plead conscience, as 
heresy," &c. 

Truth. Here I have many just exceptions and considera 
tions to present. 

First, they propose a distinction of some sins: some 
are against the light of conscience, &c., and they instance 
in heresy. 

Ans. I have before discussed this point of a heretic 
sinning against light of conscience. And I shall add, that 
however they lay this down as an infallible conclusion, 
Error is con- that all heresy is against light of conscience, yet to pass 
truth! 8 ky the discussion of the nature of heresy, in which respect 
it may so be that even themselves may be found heretical, 
yea, and that in fundamentals how do all idolaters after 
light presented, and exhortations powerfully pressed, 
either Turks or pagans, Jews or anti-christians, strongly 
even to the death hold fast, or rather are held fast by, 
their delusions. 


Yea, God s people themselves, being deluded and cap- aswen e as ple 
tivated, are strongly confident even against some funda- bSnToV 
mentals, especially of worship : and yet not against the fundament*! 
light, but according to the light or eye of a deceived 

Now all these consciences walk on confidently and con 
stantly, even to the suffering of death and torments ; and 
are more strongly confirmed in their belief and conscience, 
because such bloody and cruel courses of persecution are 
used toward them. 

Secondly, speaks not the scripture expressly of the 
Jew, Isa. vi., Matt, xiii., Acts xxviii., that God hath given 
them the spirit of slumber, eyes that they should not see, 
&c.? all which must be spoken of the very conscience, 
which He that hath the golden key of David can only shut 
and open, and all the picklocks or swords in all the 
smiths shops in the world can neither by force or fraud 
prevent his time. 

Is it not said of anti-christians, 2 Thess. ii., that God strong delu 

hath sent them strong delusions ? so strong and efficacious 
that they believe a lie, and that so confidently, and some 
so conscientiously, that death itself cannot part between 
the delusion and their conscience. 

" Again, the magistrate, say they, keeping him in safe 
ward : that is, the heretic, the blasphemer, idolater," &c. 

Peace. I here ask all men that love even the civil peace, 
where the Lord Jesus hath spoken a tittle of a prison or 
safe ward to this purpose ? 

Truth. We find indeed a prison threatened by God to 
his irreconciled enemies, neglecting to account with him, 
Matt. v. 25. 

We find a prison into which persecutors cast the saints. 
So John, so Paul, and the apostles, Matt. xiv. 10, &c., 


were cast ; and the great commander of, and caster into 
prison, is the devil, Rev. ii. 10. 

We find a spiritual prison, indeed, a prison for spirits, 
1 Pet. iii. 19, the spirits formerly rebellious against Christ 
Jesus, speaking by Noah unto them, now kept in safe 
ward against the judgment of the great day. 

In excommunication, a soul obstinate in sin is delivered 
to Satan his jailor, and he keeps him in safe ward, until it 
pleaseth God to release him. 

There is a prison for the devil himself a thousand years, 
Rev. xx. [2, 3.] And a lake of eternal fire and brimstone, 
into which the beast and false prophet, and all not written 
in the Lamb s book, and the devil that deceived them, 
shall eternally be there secured and tormented. 

-^ u * ner t ner amongst these, nor in any other passage of 
tne New Testament, do we find a prison appointed by 
c" Christ Jesus for the heretic, blasphemer, idolater, &c. 
being not otherwise guilty against the civil state. 

It is true, anti-christ, by the help of civil powers, hath 

his prisons to keep Christ Jesus and his members fast: 

The bishops such prisons may well be called the bishops prisons, the 

pope s, the devil s prisons. These inquisition-houses have 

ever been more terrible than the magistrate s. 

At first, persecuting bishops borrowed prisons of the 
ciyil magistrate, as now their successors do still in the 
world; but afterward they wrung the keys out of the 
magistrates hands, and hung them at their own girdles, 
and would have prisons of their own: as doubtless will 
that generation still do, if God prevent them not. 



Peace. Again, say they, the magistrate should send him 
first to the church to heal his conscience. 

Truth. Is not this as the prophet speaks [Ezek. xvi. 44,] Like mother 
like mother like daughter ? So the mother of whoredoms, dau s hter - 
the church of Rome, teacheth and practiseth with all her 
heretics : first let the holy church convince them, and then 
deliver them to the secular power to receive the punish 
ment of heretics. 

Peace. Methinks also they approach near that popish 
tenent, ex opere operato ." for their exhortations and admo 
nitions must necessarily be so operative and prevalent, 
that if the heretic repent not, he now sins against his con 
science : not remembering that peradventure, 2 Tim. ii. conscience 
[25,] If peradventure, God will give them repentance ; and healed and 
how strong delusions are, and believing of lies, and how 
hard it is to be undeceived, especially in spirituals ! 

Truth. And as it may so prove, when a heretic indeed 
is brought to this college of physicians to have his con 
science healed, and one heretic is to cure another. So 
also when any of Christ s witnesses, supposed heretics, are 
brought before them, how doth the Lord Jesus suffer 
whippings and stabs, when his name, and truths, and 
witnesses, and ordinances, are all profaned and blasphemed. 

Besides, suppose a man to be a heretic, and yet suppose 
him brought as the magistrate s prisoner, though to a true 
church, to heal his conscience : what promise of presence wounding 
and blessing hath the Lord Jesus made to his church and healing of 

. consciences. 

spouse in such a way ? and how common is it for heretics 
either to be desperately hardened by such cruel courses 
(yet pretending soul-healing), or else through fear, and 


terror to practise gross hypocrisy, even against their con 
sciences. So that these chirurgeons and physicians pre 
tending to heal consciences by such a course, wound them 
deeper, and declare themselves chirurgeons and physicians 
of no value. 

Peace. But what think you of the proviso added to 
their proposition, viz., " Provided the church be able and 
willing ?" 

Truth. Doubtless this proviso derogates not a little from 

the nature of the spouse of Christ. For she, like that 

Christ s gracious woman. Prov. xxxi. 26, openeth her mouth with 

spouse able fc 

toheai llin8 w ^ saom > ana i n h er tongue is the law of grace: she is the 
pMar and ground of truth, 1 Tim. iii. 1 5, the golden candle 
stick from whence true light shineth: the angels or 
ministers thereof able to try false apostles, Rev. ii. 2, and 
convince the gainsayers, Tit. i. 9. 

Again, according to their principles of suppressing per 
sons and churches falsely worshipping, how can they 
permit such a blind and dead church not able and willing 
to heal a wounded conscience ? 

Peace. What should be the reason of this their expression? 

Truth. Doubtless their consciences tell them how few 
of those churches which they yet acknowledge churches, 
are able and willing to hold forth Christ Jesus the Sun of 
righteousness, healing with his wings the doubting and 
afflicted conscience. 

Lastly, their conscience tells them, that a servant of 
Christ Jesus may possibly be sent as a heretic to be 
healed by a false church, which church will never be 
willing to deal with him, or never be able to convince him. 

Peace. Yea, but they say, "by such a course the 
magistrate shall convince such a one s conscience that he 
seeks his good," &c. 

Truth. If a man thus bound be sent to a church to be 


healed in his conscience, either he is a heretic or he is 

Admit he be : yet he disputes in fear, as the poor thief; 
[or as] the mouse disputes with a terrible persecuting cat, 
who while she seems to play and gently toss, yet the con- 
elusion is a proud, insulting, and devouring cruelty. with a true 

f witness as a 

If no heretic, but an innocent and faithful witness of lionwitha 

lamb in his 

any truth of Jesus, disputes he not as a lamb in the lion s P aw - 
paw, being sure in the end to be torn in pieces ? 

Peace. They add, "The censure, this way, proceeds 
with more power and blessing." 

Truth. All power and blessing is from the blessed Son 
of God, unto whom all power is given from the Father, in 
heaven and earth. He hath promised his presence with 
his messengers, preaching and baptizing, to the world s 
end, ratifying in heaven what they bind or loose on earth. 

But let any man show me such a commission, instruc 
tion, and promise, given by the Son of God to civil 
powers in these spiritual affairs of his Christian kingdom 
and worship ? 

Peace. Lastly, they conclude, " This course of first 
sending the heretic to be healed by the church, takes 
away all excuse ; for none can say that he is persecuted 
for his conscience, but for sinning against his conscience." 

Truth. Jezebel, placing poor Naboth before the elders 
as a blasphemer of God and the king, and sanctifying the 
plotted and intended murder with a day of humiliation, ^JJ U *J 
may seem to take away all excuse, and to conclude the caiied be 
blasphemer worthy to be stoned. But Jehovah, the God 
of recompences (Jer. li. 56), when he makes inquisition 
for blood, will find both Jezebel and Ahab guilty, and 
make the dogs a feast with the flesh of Jezebel, and leave 
not to Ahab a man to piss against the wall ; for (as Paul 
in his own plea) there was nothing committed worthy of 


death : and against thee, O king, saith Daniel, I have not 
sinned (Dan. vi. 22) in any civil fact against the state. 


Peace. Their eighth question is this, viz., what power 
magistrates have about the gathering of churches ? 

" First, the magistrate hath power, and it is his duty to 
encourage and countenance such persons as voluntarily 
join themselves in holy covenant, both by his presence (if 
it may be) and promise of protection, they accepting the 
right hand of fellowship from other neighbour churches. 

" Secondly, he hath power to forbid all idolatrous and 
corrupt assemblies, who offer to put themselves under 
their patronage, and shall attempt to join themselves into 
a church-estate, and if they shall not hearken^ to force 
them therefrom by the power of the sword, Ps. ci. 8. 
For our tolerating many religions in a state in several 
churches, besides the provoking of God, may in time not 
only corrupt, leaven, divide, and so destroy the peace of 
the churches, but also dissolve the continuity of the state, 
especially ours, whose walls are made of the stones of the 
churches, it being also contrary to the end of our planting 
in this part of the world, which was not only to enjoy the 
pure ordinances, but to enjoy them all in purity. 

" Thirdly, he hath power to compel all men within his 
grant to hear the word : for hearing the word of God is a 
duty, which the light of nature leadeth even heathens to. 
The Ninevites heard Jonah, though a stranger, and un 
known unto them to be an extraordinary prophet, Jonah iii, 
And Eglon, the king of Moab, hearing that Ehud had a 


message from God, he rose out of his seat for more 
reverent attention, Judg. iii. 20. 

" Yet he hath no power to compel all men to become 
members of churches, because he hath not power to make 
them fit members for the church, which is not wrought by 
the power of the sword, but by the power of the word; 
nor may we force the churches to accept of any for mem 
bers but those whom the churches themselves can freely 
approve of." 

Truth. To the first branch of this head I answer, that 
the magistrate should encourage and countenance the 
church, yea, and protect the persons of the church from 
violence, disturbance, &c., it being truly noble and glo 
rious, by how much the spouse and queen of the Lord 
Jesus transcends the ladies, queens, and empresses of the 
world in glory, beauty, chastity, and innocency. 

It is true, all magistrates in the world do this: viz., 
encourage and protect the church or assembly of wor 
shippers which they judge to be true and approve of; 
but not permitting other consciences than their own, it 
hath come to pass in all ages, and yet doubtless will, that 
the Lord Jesus and his queen are driven and persecuted 
out of the world. 

To the second, that the magistrate ought to suppress all 
churches which he judgeth false, he quoteth Ps. ci. 8, Be 
times I ivill cut off the wicked of the land ; that I may cut off 
all evil doers from the city of Jehovah : unto which he 
addeth four reasons. 

Peace. Dear Truth, first, a word to that scripture, so 
often quoted, and so much boasted of. 

Truth. Concerning that holy land of Canaan, concern 
ing the city of Jehovah, Jerusalem, out of which king 
David here resolves to cut off all the wicked and evil Ps - ci s .> 


doers, I shall speak more largely on the eleventh head or 


question, in the differences between that and all other 


NO land of At present I answer, there is no holy land or city of the 
holy city, Lord, no king of Sion, &c., but the church of Jesus 


Christ, and the King thereof, according to 1 Pet. ii. 9, 
Ye are a holy nation ; and Jerusalem is the holy people of 
God in the true profession of Christianity, Heb. xii., Gal. 
iv., and Rev. xxi., out of which the Lord Jesus by his 
holy ordinances, in such a government, and by such 
governors as he hath appointed, he cuts off every wicked 
person and evil doer. 

NO Differ- if Christ Jesus had intended any difference of place, 
Sties Shfce cities, or countries, doubtless Jerusalem and Samaria had 

asViwbe- 8 been thought of, or the cities of Asia, wherein the Chris- 
fore the . , . . iii 

coming, of tian religion was so gloriously planted. 

Jesus. But the Lord Jesus disclaims Jerusalem and Samaria 

from having any respect of holiness more than other cities, 
John iv. 21. 

And the Spirit of God evidently testifieth that the 
churches were in the cities and countries, not that the 
whole cities or countries were God s holy land and cities, 
out of which all false worshippers and wicked persons 
were to be cut, Rev. ii. and iii. 

The devil s throne was in the city of Pergaraos in 
respect of the state and persecution of it, and yet there 
was also the throne of the Lord Jesus set up in his 
church or worshippers in Pergamos, out of which the 
Balaamites, and Nicolaitanes, and every false ^worshipper, 
were to be cast, though not out of the city of Pergamos : 
for then Pergamos must have been thrown out of Perga 
mos, and the world out of the world. 



Peace. Oh! that my head were a fountain, and mine 
eyes rivers of tears, to lament my children, the children of 
peace and light, thus darkening that and other lightsome 
scriptures with such dark and direful clouds of blood. 

Truth. Sweet Peace, thy tears are seasonable and pre 
cious, and bottled up in the heavens; but let me add a second 
consideration from that scripture. If that scripture may 
now literally be applied to nations and cities, in a parallel 
to Canaan and Jerusalem, since the gospel, and this Ps. ci. 
be literally to be applied to cities, towns, and countries in J!. on of Ps- 
Europe and America, not only such as essay to join them 
selves (as they here speak) in a corrupt church estate, but 
such as know no church estate, nor God, nor Christ, yea, 
every wicked person and evil doer, must be hanged or 
stoned, &c., as it was in Israel; and if so, how many 
thousands and millions of men and women in the several 
kingdoms and governments of the world, must be cut off 
from their lands, and destroyed from their cities, as this 
scripture speaks ! 

Thirdly, since those persons in the New English plan 
tations accounted unfit for church estate, yet remain all 
members of the church of England, from which New 
England dares not separate, no not in their sacraments (as 
some of the independents have published), what riddle or 
mystery, or rather fallacy of Satan is this ! 8 

8 [Among the early settlers were the governor, accused the ministers of 
two brothers of the name of Brown, departing from the usages of that 
who, still attached to the rites of the church, adding that they were sepa- 
church of England, set up a separate ratists, and would soon become ana- 
assembly, and when summoned before baptists. To this the ministers made 

B 2 


Peace. It will not be offence to charity to make con- 
jecture : first, herein New England churches secretly call 

Europe. 111 their mother whore, not daring in America to join with 
their own mother s children, though unexcommunicate : 
no, nor permit them to worship God after their con 
sciences, and as their mother hath taught them this 
secretly and silently, they have a mind to do, which pub 
licly they would seem to disclaim, and profess against. 

The New Secondly, if such members of Old England should be 

English per- J > 

S-eth?en h o e f ir suffered to enjoy their consciences in New England 
however it is pretended they would profane ordinances for 


sci e eJc C e3?i"est which they are unfit (as true it is in that natural persons 

their OWQ . 

nmtobere are not fit for spiritual worship), yet this appears not to 
Swn l or e at ^ e tne bottom, for in Old England the New English join 
greSnes e s of with Old in the ministration of the word, prayer, singing, 
assemblies contribution, maintenance of the ministry, &c. if, I say, 

and mainte- 111 11 i -T 

nances de- they should set up churches after their conscience, the 
greatness and multitudes of their own assemblies would 
decay, and with all the contributions and maintenance of 
their ministers, unto which all or most have been forced. 

Truth. Dear Peace, these are more than conjectures, 
thousands now espy; and all that love the purity of the 
worship of the living God should lament such halting. I 
shall add this, not only do they partially neglect to cut off 
the wicked of the land, but such as themselves esteemed 
beloved and godly have they driven forth, and keep out 
others which would come unto them, eminently godly by 
their own confession ; because differing in conscience and 

reply, " That they were neither sepa- Prayer and ceremonies . . . because 

ratists nor anabaptists, that they did they judged the imposition of these 

not separate from the church of things to be sinful corruptions of the 

England, nor from the ordinances of word of God." Neal s Hist, of New- 

God there, but only from the cor- England, i. p. 144. The two brothers 

ruptions and disorders of that church; were sent back to England in the 

they came away from the Common same ship that brought them over.] 


worship from them, and consequently not to be suffered in 
their holy land of Canaan. 9 

But having examined that scripture alleged, let us now 
weigh their reasons. 

First, say they, the not cutting off by the sword, but 
tolerating many religions in a state would provoke God : 
unto which 

I answer, first (and here being no scripture produced to Christ jesus 
these reasons, shall the sooner answer), that no proof can pointed an 


be made from the institutions of the Lord Jesus that all J> ut his own 

to be cut oft 

religions but one are to be cut off by the civil sword ; 
that national church in that typical land of Canaan being 
abolished and the Christian commonweal or church insti 

Secondly. I affirm that the cutting off by the sword h e r dy 
other consciences and religions, is (contrarily) most pro 
voking unto God, expressly against his will concerning 
the tares, Matt, xiii., as I have before proved ; as also the 
bloody mother of all those monstrous mischiefs, where 
such cutting off is used, both to the souls and bodies of 

Thirdly. Let conscience and experience speak how in 
the not cutting off of their many religions, it hath pleased 
God not only not to be provoked, but to prosper the state 
of the United Provinces, our next neighbours, and that to 

Peace. The second reason is, such tolerating would 

9 [The law concerning heresy stood fourth command, or the baptizing of 

thus in New England: "Whoever infants, or the ordinance of magis- 

denies the immortality of the soul, tracy, or their authority to make war, 

the resurrection of the body, or the or punish offenders against the first 

evil done by the outward man is sin, table; whoever denies any of these, 

or that Christ gave himself a ransom or seduces others to do so, must be 

for sins, or that we are justified by his banished the jurisdiction." Neal s 

righteousness, or the morality of the Hist, of New England, ii. p. 344.] 


leaven, divide, and destroy the peace of the churches. 

spiritual Truth. This must also be denied upon so many former 

powerful 08 * scriptures and reasons produced, proving the power of the 

Lord Jesus, and the sufficiency of his spiritual power in 

his church, for the purging forth and conquering of the 

least evil: yea, and for the bringing every thought in 

subjection unto Christ Jesus, 2 Cor. x. 

have not produced one scripture, nor can, to 

doth not for 

bid to 

mit leaven 


peJmTt ers to P r ove that the permitting of leaven of false doctrine in 
the world or civil state, will leaven the churches : only we 

o or- ^ -. -. , 

per- Una tnat the permission 01 leaven in persons, doctrines, or 

. r 

Practices in the church, that indeed will corrupt and 
spread, 1 Cor. v., and Gal. v.; but this reason should 
never have been alleged, were not the particular churches 
in New England but as so many implicit parish churches 
in one implicit national church. 

Peace. Their third reason is, it will dissolve the conti 
nuity of the state, especially theirs, where the walls are 
made of the stones of the churches. 
The wan, Truth. I answer briefly to this bare affirmation thus : 

Cant. viii. 9, 

discussed, that the true church is a wall spiritual and mystical, 
Cant. viii. 9. 

That consequently a false church or company is a false 
or pretended wall, and none of Christ s. 

The civil state, power, and government is a civil wall, 
&c., and 

Lastly. The walls of earth or stone about a city, are the 
natural or artificial wall or defence of it. 

Now, in consideration of these four walls, I desire it 
may be proved from the scriptures of truth, how the false 
spiritual wall, or company of false worshippers suffered in 
a city, can be able to destroy the true Christian wall, or 
company of believers. 

Again, how this false spiritual wall, or false church per- 


mitted, can destroy the civil wall, the state and govern- 
ment of the city and citizens, any more than it can Clvi1 
destroy the natural or artificial wall of earth or stone. 

Spiritual may destroy spiritual, if a stronger and 
victorious ; but spiritual cannot reach to artificial or civil. 

Peace. Yea ; but they fear the false spiritual wall may 
destroy their civil, because it is made of the stones of 

Truth. If this have reference to that practice amongst 
them, viz., that none but members of churches enjoy civil 
freedom amongst them, ordinarily, 1 in imitation of that 
national church or state of the Jews, then I answer, they 
that follow Moses s church constitution, which the New 
English by such a practice implicitly do, must cease to 
pretend to the Lord Jesus Christ and his institutions. 

Secondly. We shall find lawful civil states, both before Many 


and since Christ Jesus, in which we find not any tidings 

of the true God or Christ. 2 e ur n c h t es 

Lastly. Their civil New English state, framed out of f01 
their churches, may yet stand, subsist, and flourish, 
although they did as by the word of the Lord they 
ought permit either Jews, or Turks, or anti- Christians 
to live amongst them subject unto their civil government. 


Peace. One branch more, viz., the third, remains of 
this head, and it concerns the hearing of the word; 
" Unto which," say they, " all men are to be compelled ; 
because hearing of the word is a duty which even nature 

1 [See note before, p. 164.] 


leadeth heathens to." For this they quote the practice 
of the Ninevites hearing Jonah,, and Eglon, king of 
Moab s rising up to Ehud s pretended message from God, 
Judg. iii. 

Truth. I must deny that position : for light of nature 
leadeth men to hear that only which nature conceiveth to 
be good for it, and therefore not to hear a messenger, 

. . , , 

minister, or preacher, whom conscience persuades is a 


before aii f a l se messenger or deceiver, and comes to deceive my 

other. . * 

soul : as millions of men and women in their several re 
spective religions and consciences are so persuaded, con 
ceiving their own to be true. 

J readifn Secondly. As concerning the instances. Jonah did not 

compel the Ninevites to hear that message which he 
brought unto them. 

examined? 6 Besides, the matter of compulsion to a constant worship 
of the word in church estate, which is the question, comes 
not near Jonah s case. 

Nor did Christ Jesus, or any of his ambassadors, so 

practise ; but if persons refused to hear, the command of 

the Lord Jesus to his messengers was only to depart from 

them, shaking off the dust of their feet with a denuncia 

tion of God s wrath, against them, Matt. x. ; Acts xiv. 

Egion^ris- Concerning Eglon s rising up: first, Ehud compelled 

mes^e, not ^ at ^ n o e i tner to near or reverence, and all that can 

examined, j^ i m ^able in Eglon is a voluntary and willing reverence, 

which persons ought to express to what they are persuaded 

comes from God. 

But how do both these instances mightily convince and 
condemn themselves, who not only profess to turn away 
from, but also persecute or hurt, all such as shall dare to 
profess a ministry or church estate differing from their 
own, though for personal godliness and excellency of gifts 
reverenced by themselves. 


Thirdly. To the point of compulsion : it hath pleased 
the Lord Jesus to appoint a twofold ministry of his word. v 

First. For unbelievers and their conversion, according to 
Matt, xxviii. 19, Mark xvi. 15, 16, and the constant 
practice of the apostles in the first preaching of the 

Secondly. A ministry of feeding and nourishing up 
such as are converted and brought into church estate, 
according to Ephes. iv. &c. Now to neither of these do 
we find any compulsion appointed by the Lord Jesus, or 
practised by any of his. 

The compulsion preached and practised in New England, 
is not to the hearing of that ministry sent forth to convert 
unbelievers, and to constitute churches, for such a ministry 
they practise not ; but to the hearing of the word of edifi 
cation, exhortation, consolation, dispensed only in the 
churches of worshippers. I apply, 

When Paul came first to Corinth to preach Jesus 
Christ, by their rule the magistrates of Corinth ought by 
the sword to have compelled all the people of Corinth to 
hear Paul. 

Secondly. After a church of Christ was gathered, by Pa i never 

63 * used any 

their rule, the magistrates of Corinth ought to have com- p^ 111 " 
pelled the people still, even those who had refused his 
doctrine (for the few only of the church embraced it) to 
have heard the word still, and to have kept one day in 
seven to the Christian s God, and to have come to the 
Christian s church all their days. And what is this but a 
settled formality of religion and worship, unto which a 
people are brought by the power of the sword ? 

And however they affirm that persons are not to be The New 
compelled to be members of churches, nor the church forcing thei 

subjects to 

compelled to receive any : yet if persons be compelled to 
forsake their religion which their hearts cleave to, and to 


an el reHion come to church, to the worship of the word, prayers, 
sayuhey psalms, and contributions, and this all their days, I ask, 
pe r o c pie h then whether this be not this people s religion, unto which sub- 
reii g e ionan mittinff, they shall be quiet all their days, without the 

their days. 

enforcing them to the practice of any other religion ? And 
if this be not so, then I ask, will it not inevitably follow, 
that they not only permit but enforce people to be of no 
religion at all, all their days ? 

This toleration of religion, or rather irreligious com 
pulsion, is above all tolerations monstrous, to wit, to com 
pel men to be of no religion all their days. I desire all 
men, and these worthy authors of this model, to lay their 
hands upon their heart, and to consider whether this com 
pulsion of men to hear the word, as they say, whether it 
carries men, to wit, to be of no religion all their days : 
worse than the very Indians, who dare not live without 
religion according as they are persuaded. 

Lastly, I add From the ordinance of the Lord Jesus, 

and practice of the apostles (Acts ii. 42), where the word 

and prayer is joined with the exercise of their fellowship 

and breaking of bread, in which exercises the church 

The civil continued constantly that it is apparent that a civil state 

more law- may as lawfully compel men by the civil sword to the 

fully compel 

breaking of bread, or Lord s supper, as to the word, or 

P^yer, or fellowship. 

For, first, they are all of the same nature, ordinances 
in the church (I speak of the feeding ministry in the 
church, unto which persons are compelled) and church 
worship. Secondly, every conscience in the world is 
fearful, at least shy of the priests and ministers of other 
gods and worships, and of holding spiritual fellowship in 
any of their services ; which is the case of many a soul, 
viz. to question the ministers themselves, as well as the 
supper itself. 



Peace. Dear Truth, this pressing of men to the spiritual 
battles of Christ Jesus, is the cause why (as it is 
commonly with pressed soldiers) that so many thousands fly 
in the day of battle. But I present you with the ninth 
question, viz. 

What power the magistrate hath in providing of church 
officers ? 

" First, say they, the election of church officers being 
the proper act of the church, therefore the magistrate hath 
no power, either as prince or patron, to assume such power 
unto himself. Whom Christ sends to preach by his 
supreme power, the magistrate may send forth by his 
power subordinate, to gather churches, and may force 
people to hear them, but not invest them with office 
amongst them. 

" Secondly, the maintenance of church-officers being to 
arise from all those who are ordinarily taught thereby, 
Gal. vi. 6, hence it is the duty of the civil magistrate to 
contend with the people, as Nehemiah did, chap. xiii. 
10, 11, who do neglect and forsake the due maintenance 
of the church of God, and to command them to give such 
portion for the maintenance of church officers, as the 
gospel commandeth to be offered to them, freely and 
bountifully, 2 Cor. ix. 5, 6, 7. According as Hezekiah 
commanded the people to give to the priests and Levites 
the portions appointed by the law, that they might be 
encouraged in the law of the Lord, 2 Chron. xxxi. 4. 

" Thirdly, the furnishing the church with set officers, 
depending much upon erecting and maintenance of schools, 
and good education of youth, and it lying chiefly in the 


hand of the magistrate to provide for the furthering 
thereof, they may therefore and should so far provide for 
the churches as to erect schools,, take care for fit governors 
and tutors : and commend it to all the churches, if they 
see it meet, that in all the churches within the jurisdiction, 
once in a year, and if it may be, the sabbath before the 
general court of election, there be a free-will offering of 
all people for the maintenance of such schools : and the 
monies of every town so given, to be brought on the day 
of election to the treasury of the college, and the monies 
to be disposed by such who are so chosen for the disposing 

Truth. In the choice of officers, it is very obscure what 
they mean by this supreme power of Christ Jesus sending 
to preach. 

We know the commission of the Lord Jesus to his first 
messengers to go into all nations to preach and gather 
churches, and they were immediately sent forth by him. 
But Mr. Cotton elsewhere holdeth, that there is now 
extant no immediate ministry from Christ, but mediate, 
that is, from the church. 

Let us first see how they agree with themselves, and 
secondly how they agree with the magistrate in this 
in the first First, if they hold a sending forth to preach by Christ s 

pattern . ... 

there is a supreme power, according to Matt, xxviii., Mark xvi., 


Rom. x., they must necessarily grant a time when the 

church is not, but is to be constituted out of the nations 
and peoples now converted by this preaching : whence, 
according to the course of scripture, the nature of the 
work, and their own grant in this place, it is apparent that 
there is a ministry before the church, gathering and 
espousing the church to Christ : and therefore their own 
tenent must needs be too light, viz. that there is no 

senger sent 

floni tho 

Lord to 


ministry but that which is mediate from the 

Peace. Blessed Truth, this doctrine of a ministry before 
the church, is harsh and deep, yet most true, most sweet. 
Yet you know their ground, that two or three godly 
persons may join themselves together, become a church, 
make officers, send them forth to preach, to convert, to 
baptize, and gather new churches. 

Truth. I answer, first, we find not in the first insti- No P 

.. , cedent of 

tution and pattern, that ever any such two, or three, or any peopl 
more, did gather and constitute themselves a church of F^a 
Christ, without a ministry sent from God to invite and & 
call them by the word, and to receive them unto fellow- 

i ,i s-* i i ^ .. 

ship with God upon the receiving of that word and 
message. And therefore it may very well be queried, ^f those 
how, without such a ministry, two or three become a 
church ? and how the power of Christ is conveyed unto 
them? who espoused this people unto Jesus Christ, as 
the church at Corinth was espoused by Paul ? 2 Cor. xi. 
2. If it be said, themselves : or if it be said, the scrip 
tures : let one instance be produced in the first patterns 
and practices of such a practice. 

It hath been generally confessed, that there is no coming 
to the marriage-feast without a messenger inviting, sent 
from God to the souls of men, Matt, xxii., Luke xiv., 
Rom. x. 

We find when the Thessalonians turned to God from 
their idols, to serve the living and true God, 1 Thess. i. 9, 
it pleased God to bring a word of power unt6 them by the 
mouth of Paul, in the same place. 

Peace. You know, dear Truth, it is a common plea, that 
God s people now are converted already, and therefore may 
congregate themselves, &c. 

Trvth. Two things must here be cleared. 


First, doth their conversion amount to external turning 
from idols, 1 Thess. i. 9, beside their internal repentance, 
agTnsTthe faith, love ? &c. Secondly, who wrought this conversion, 

second table 

.. iii r, r> i 

in personal who begot these children ! for though the Corinthians 


feiwwOT m ig nt nave ten thousand teachers, yet Paul had begotten 

It is true, as Mr. Cotton himself elsewhere acknow- 
ledgeth, God sendeth many preachers in the way of his 
providence, even in Babel mystical, though not according 
to his ordinance and institution. So even in the wilder 
ness God provideth for the sustentation of the woman, 
Rev. xii. ; by which provision, even in the most popish 
times and places, yea, and by most false and popish 
callings (now in this lightsome age confessed so to be), God 
hath done great things to the personal conversion, conso 
lation, and salvation of his people. 
A true But as there seems yet to be desired such constitution 

ministry * 

^ tne Christian church, as the first institution and pattern 
ca ^ s f r : so a l so suc ^ a calling and converting of God s 
church, in people from anti-christian idols to the Christian worship : 

the first IIP T 

pattern. and therefore such a ministry, according to the first 
pattern, sent from Christ Jesus to renew and restore the 
worship and ordinances of God in Christ. 

Lastly, if it should be granted that without a ministry 

sent from Christ to gather churches, that God s people in 

this country may be called, converted from anti-christian 

idols, to the true worship of God in the true church 

estate and ordinances, will it not follow that in all other 

countries of the world God s elect must or may be so con- 

Thetrue verted from their several respective false worships and 

mk>istry he idolatries, and brought into the true Christian church 

sent with . . . 

that com- estate without such a ministry sent unto them ? Or are 


tnere two wa y s appointed by the Lord Jesus, one for this 
country, and another for the rest of the world ? Or lastly, 


if two or three more, without a ministry, shall arise up, 
become a church, make ministers, &c., I ask, whether 
those two or three, or more, must not be accounted 
immediately and extraordinarily stirred up by God ? and 
whether this be that supreme power of Christ Jesus, 
which they speak of, sending forth two or three private 
persons to make a church and ministers, without a true 
ministry of Christ Jesus first sent unto themselves ? Is 
this that commission, which all ministers pretend unto, 
Matt, xxviii. 19, &c. first, in the hands of two or three 
private persons becoming a church, without a mediate call 
from which church, say they, there can be no true 
ministry, and yet also confess that Christ sendeth forth to 
preach by his supreme power, and the magistrate by his 
power subordinate to gather churches ? 


Peace. You have taken great pains to show the irrecon- 
cilableness of those their two assertions, viz., First, there 
is now no ministry, as they say, but what is mediate from 
the church ; and yet, secondly, Christ Jesus sends 
preachers forth by his supreme power to gather the church. 
I now wait to hear, how, as they say, "the magistrate 
may send forth by his power subordinate to gather 
churches, enforcing the people to hear," c. 

Truth. If there be a ministry sent forth by Christ s 
supreme power, and a ministry sent forth by the magis- The dvil 
trate s subordinate power, to gather churches I ask, what SSsV 
is the difference between these two ? Is there any gather- JatSJtag of 
ing of churches but by that commission, Matt, xxviii. 
Teach and baptize ? And is the civil magistrate entrusted 



if the ma- 


more The* 

ceive their 


xvii.) a a- 
chnst Jesus 

S u th c e h civii 

with a power from Christ, as his deputy, to give this 
commission, and so to send out ministers to preach and 
baptize ? 

As there is nothing in the Testament of Christ concern- 
m sucn a delegation or assignment of such power of 
Christ to the civil magistrate : so I also ask, since in every 
free state civil magistrates have no power but what the 
peoples of those states, lands, and countries betrust them 
with, whether or no, by this means, it must not follow, 
that Christ Jesus hath left with the peoples and nations of 
the world his spiritual kingly power to grant commissions, 
and send out ministers to themselves, to preach, convert, 
and baptize themselves? How inevitably this follows 
upon their conclusion of power in magistrates to send, &c., 
and what unchristian and unreasonable consequences must 
flow from hence, let all consider in the fear of God. 

Jehoshaphat s sending forth the Levites to teach in 
Judah, &c., as they allege it not, so elsewhere it shall 
mor e f ally appear to be a type and figure of Christ Jesus, 
tne onl 7 kin S of his church, providing for the feeding of 
his church and people by his true Christian priests and 
Levites, viz., the ministry which in the gospel he hath 


Peace. We have examined the ministry, be pleased, 
dear Truth, to speak to the second branch of this head : 
viz., the maintenance of it. They affirm that the magis 
trate may force out the minister s maintenance from all 
that are taught by them, and that after the pattern of 
Israel ; and the argument from 1 Cor. ix., Gal. vi. 6. 


Truth. This theme, viz., concerning the maintenance of 
the priests and ministers of worship, is indeed the apple of 
the eye, the Diana of the [Ephesians, 1 ] &c. ; yet all that love 
Christ Jesus in sincerity, and souls in and from him, will 
readily profess to abhor filthy lucre, Tit. i. 7, and the 
wages of Balaam, both more common and frequent than 
easily is discernible. 

To that scripture, Gal. vi. 6, Let him that is taught in Gai. vi. 6, 
the word make him that teacheth partaker of all his qoods : I the mainte- 

j * nance of the 

answer, that teaching was ot persons converted, believers mimstry.ex- 


entered into the school and family of Christ, the church ; 
which church being rightly gathered, is also rightly in 
vested with the power of the Lord Jesus, to force every soul 
therein by spiritual weapons and penalties to do its duty. 

But this forcing of the magistrate is intended and 
practised to all sorts of persons, without as well as within 
the church, unconverted, natural and dead in sin, as well 
as those that live and, feeding, enjoy the benefits of 
spiritual food. 

Now for those sorts of persons to whom Christ Jesus Christ Jesus 
sends his word out of church estate, Jews or Gentiles, pointed a 


according to the parable of Matt. xiii. highway hearers, 
stony ground, and thorny ground hearers, we never find co^eSe" 
tittle of any maintenance to be expected, least of all to be neving. e ~ 
forced and exacted, from them. By civil power they 
cannot be forced, for it is no civil payment or business, no 
matter of Caesar, but concerning God : nor by spiritual 
power, which hath nothing to do with those which are 
without, 1 Cor. v. 

It is reasonable to expect and demand of such as live 
within the state a civil maintenance of their civil officers, 
and to force it where it is denied. It is reasonable for a 
schoolmaster to demand his recompence for his labour in 

1 [Diana, in the original copy.] 



his school ; but it is not reasonable to expect or force it 
from strangers, enemies, rebels to that city, from such as 
come not within, or else would not be received into the 
school. What is the church of Christ Jesus, but the city, 
the school, and family of Christ ? the officers of this city, 
school, family, may reasonably expect maintenance from 
such they minister unto, but not from strangers, enemies, 
They that Peace. It is most true that sin goes in a link ; for that 

compel men 

to hear, com- tcnent, that all the men of the world may be compelled to 

pel men also 

near Christ preached, and enjoy the labours of the teacher 
1 as well as the church itself, forceth on another also as evil, 
viz., that they should also be compelled to pay, as being 
most equal and reasonable to pay for their conversion. 
Lukexiv. Truth. Some use to urge that text of Luke xiv. 23, 

Compel them, 

examined. Compel them to come in. Compel them to mass, say the 
papists ; compel them to church and common prayer, say 
the protestants ; compel them to the meeting, say the New 
English. 2 In all these compulsions they disagree amongst 
themselves ; but in this, viz., Compel them to pay, in this 
they all agree. 

TWO sorts of There is a double violence, which both error and false- 


hood use to the souls of men. 

First, moral and persuasive ; such was the persuasion 
first used to Joseph by his mistress : such was the per 
suasions of Tamar from Ammon ; such was the compelling 
of the young man by the harlot, Prov. vii., she caught him 
by her much fair speech and kisses. And thus is the 

2 [" I do not disapprove of the use faith ; for although faith is a volun- 

frequently made of it by St. Augus- tary thing, yet we see that such means 

tine against the Donatists, to prove are useful to subdue the obstinacy of 

that godly princes may lawfully issue those who will not until compelled 

edicts to compel obstinate and re- obey." Calvin in loc. torn. ii. 43. 

bellious persons to worship the true edit. Tholuck.] 
God, and to maintain the unity of the 

th 8 


whole world compelled to the worship of the golden 
image, Dan. iii. 

The second compulsion is civil ; such as Joseph s civil com- 
mistress began to practise upon Joseph, to attain her pu 
whorish desires : such as Ammon practised on Tamar, to 
satisfy his brutish lust ; and such was Nebuchadnezzar s 
second compulsion, his fiery furnace, Dan. iii. ; and mysti 
cal Nebuchadnezzar s killing all that receive not his mark, 
Rev. xiii. 

The first sort of these violences, to wit, by powerful The minis- 

J r ters of Christ 

argument and persuasion, the ministers of the gospel also 
use. Hence all those powerful persuasions of wisdom s 
maidens, Prov. ix. Hence, saith Paul, knowing the terror 
of the Lord, we persuade men, 2 Cor. v. ; and pull some out IpSt wi 
of the fire, saith Jude ; such must that compulsion be, 
Luke xiv. 23, viz., the powerful persuasions of the word, 
being that two-edged sword coming out of the mouth of 
Christ Jesus in his true ministers, sent forth to invite poor 
sinners to partake of the feast of the Lamb of God. The 
civil ministers of the commonweal cannot be sent upon 
this business with their civil weapons and compulsions, 
but the spiritual minister of the gospel, with his spiritual 
sword of Christ s mouth, a sword with two edges. 

But more particularly, the contributions of Christ s The mainte . 
kingdom are all holy and spiritual, though consisting of Sst?y the 
material earthly substance, (as is water in baptism, bread sp 
and wine in the supper,) and joined with prayer and the 
Lord s supper, Acts ii. 42. 

Hence as prayer is called God s sacrifice, so are the con 
tributions and mutual supplies of the saints, sacrifices, 
Phil. iv. [18.] 

Hence, also, as it is impossible for natural men to be Natural men 
capable of God s worship, and to feed, be nourished, and truly W0 r- r 
edified by any spiritual ordinance, no more than a dead maintain it. 

s 2 


child can suck the breast, or a dead man feast ; so also is 
it as impossible for a dead man, yet lodged in the grave of 
nature, to contribute spiritually, I mean according to 
scripture s rule, as for a dead man to pay a reckoning. 

I question not but natural men may for the outward act 
preach, pray, contribute, &c. ; but neither are they 
worshippers suitable to him who is a Spirit, John iv. 24 ; 
nor can they, least of all, be forced to worship, or the 
maintenance of it, without a guilt of their hypocrisy. 

Peace. They will say, what is to be done for their 
souls ? 

Truth. The apostles, whom we profess to imitate, 
preached the word of the Lord to unbelievers without 
mingling in worship with them, and such preachers and 
preaching such as pretend to be the true ministry of Christ 
ought to be and practise : not forcing them all their days 
to come to church and pay their duties, either so con 
fessing that this is their religion unto which they are 
forced ; or else that, as before, they are forced to be of no 
religion all their days. 

The way to subdue rebels is not by correspondence and 
buTSt- e communion with them, by forcing them to keep the city 
watches, and pay assessments, &c., which all may be 
practised, upon compulsion, treacherously ; the first work 
with such is powerfully to subdue their judgments and 
wills, to lay down their weapons, and yield willing sub 
jection, then come they orderly into the city, and so to 
city privileges. 



Peace. Please you now, dear Truth, to discuss the 
scriptures from the Old Testament, Neh. xiii., and 
2 Chron. xxxi. 

Truth. God gave unto that national church of the The national 
Jews that excellent land of Canaan, and therein houses the Jews 
furnished, orchards, gardens, vineyards, olive-yards, fields, 

wells, &c. ; they might well, in this settled abundance, and 
the promised continuation and increase of it, afford a large 
temporal supply to their priests and Levites, even to the 
tenth of all they did possess. 

God s people are now, in the gospel, brought into a 
spiritual land of Canaan, flowing with spiritual milk and 
honey, and they abound with spiritual and heavenly 
comforts, though in a poor and persecuted condition ; 
therefore an enforced settled maintenance is not suitable 
to the gospel, as it was to the ministry of priests and 
Levites in the law. 

Secondly, in the change of the church estate, there was 
also a change of the priesthood and of the law, Heb. vii. 
[12.] Nor did the Lord Jesus appoint that in his church, 
and for the maintenance of his ministry, the civil sword 
of the magistrate ; but that the spiritual sword of the 
ministry should alone compel. 

3. Therefore the compulsion used under Hezekiah and The civil 
Nehemiah, was by the civil and corporal sword, a type (in ! 

that typical state) not of another material and corporal, th 
but of a heavenlv and spiritual, even the sword of the type out a 

.... . ci Y il but a 

Spirit, with which Christ fighteth, Rev. ii. ["12,1 which is s P iritual 

sword of the 

exceeding sharp, entering in between the soul and spirit, church* 11 
Heb. iv. [12,] and bringing every thought into captivity 
to the obedience of Christ Jesus. He that submits not at 



No man 
should be 
bound to 
worship, nor 
maintain a 
against his 
own con 

Christ s 
worthy of 
their hire, 
but from 
them that 
hire them. 

What main 

the shaking of this sword, is cut off by it ; and he that 
despiseth this sword, all the power in the world cannot 
make him a true worshipper, or by his purse a maintainer 
of God s worship. 

Lastly, if any man professing to be a minister of Christ 
Jesus, shall bring men before the magistrate, as the prac 
tice hath been, both in Old and New England, 3 for not 
paying him his wages or his due : I ask, if the voluntary 
consent of the party hath not obliged him, how can either 
the officers of the parish, church, or of the civil state, 
compel this or that man to pay so much, more or less, to 
maintain such a worship or ministry? I ask further, if 
the determining what is each man s due to pay, why may 
they not determine the tenth and more, as some desired 
(others opposing) in New England, and force men not 
only to maintenance, but to a Jewish maintenance ? 

Peace. Yea ; but, say they, is not the labourer worthy 
of his hire ? 

Truth. Yes, from them that hire him, from the church, 
to whom he laboureth or ministereth, not from the civil 
state: no more than the minister of the civil state is 
worthy of his hire from the church, but from the civil 
state : in which I grant the persons in the church ought 
to be assistant in their civil respects. 

Peace. What maintenance, say they, shall the ministry 
of the gospel have ? 

Truth. "We find two ways of maintenance for the minis- 

3 [In the Platform of Church Dis 
cipline, agreed upon at Cambridge in 
New England in 1648, it is provided 
that not only members of churches, 
but hearers of the word also, shall 
contribute to the maintenance of 
the ministry: if the deacons failed to 

obtain it, recourse was then to be had 
to the magistrate, whose duty it was 
held to be to see that the ministry be 
duly provided for. C. Mather s Mag- 
nalia, book v. p. 31. Neal s Hist, of 
New England, ii. p. SOL] 


try of the gospel proposed for our direction in the New 

First, the free and willing contribution of the saints, 
according to 1 Cor. xvi., Luke viii. 3, &c., upon which 
both the Lord Jesus, and his ministers lived. 

Secondly, the diligent work and labour of their own 
hands, as Paul tells the Thessalonians, and that in two 
cases : 

1. Either in the inabilities and necessities of the church. 

2. Or for the greater advantage of Christ s truth. As 
when Paul saw it would more advantage the name of 
Christ, he denies himself, and falls to work amongst the 
Corinthians and Thessalonians. 

Let none call these cases extraordinary : for if persecu 
tion be the portion of Christ s sheep, and the business or 
work of Christ must be dearer to us than our right eye or 
lives, such as will follow Paul, and follow the Lord Jesus, 
must not think much at, but rejoice in, poverties, necessi 
ties, hunger, cold, nakedness, &c. The stewards of Christ 
Jesus must be like their Lord, and abhor to steal as the 
evil steward, pretending that he shamed to beg, but 
peremptorily dig he could not. 

his minis - 

gospel * 


Peace. One and the last branch, dear Truth, remains 
concerning schools. 

" The churches," say they, " much depend upon the 
schools, and the schools upon the magistrates." 

Truth. I honour schools for tongues and arts ; but the universities 

(, -T-. ,...,. of Europe a 

institution of Europe s universities, devoting persons (as is c s * of 
said) for scholars in a monastical way, forbidding marriage, 8i 1 " s ^ d 


honourable and labour too, I hold as far from the mind of Jesus Christ 
aniurtiL* as it is from propagating his name and worship. 

We count the universities the fountains, the seminaries, 
or seed-plots of all piety; but have not those fountains 
ever sent what streams the times have liked? and ever 
changed their taste and colour to the prince s eye and 
palate ? 

For any depending of the church of Christ upon such 
schools, I find not a tittle in the Testament of Christ 

church his * ^ nc * t ^ ie c l lurcn f Christ frequently compared to a 
Si h bdie a ve d rs sch o1 -^ U believers are his disciples or scholars, yea, 
ars - women also, Acts ix. 36, There ivas a certain disciple, or 
scholar, called Dorcas. 

Have not the universities sacrilegiously stolen this 
blessed name of Christ s scholars from his people ? Is not 
the very scripture language itself become absurd, to wit, 
to call God s people, especially women, as Dorcas, scho 

Peace. Some will object, how shall the scriptures be 
brought to light from out of popish darkness, except these 
schools of prophets convey them to us? 

Truth. I know no schools of prophets in the New 
Testament, but the particular congregation of Christ 
Jesus, 1 Cor. xiv. And I question whether any thing 
but sin stopped and dried up the current of the Spirit in 
those rare gifts of tongues to God s sons and daughters, 
serving so admirably both for the understanding of the 
original scriptures, and also for the propagating of the 
name of Christ. 

bit G k d n mly "^o knows but that it may please the Lord again to 
fo S rTh n the Ur c l otn e his people with a spirit of zeal and courage for the 
name of Christ ; yea, and pour forth those fiery streams 
again of tongues and prophecy in the restoration of Zion ? 


If it be not his holy pleasure so to do, but that his 
people with daily study and labour must dig to come at the 
original fountains, God s people have many ways, besides bndge 
the university, lazy and monkish, to attain to an excel 
lent measure of the knowledge of those tongues. 

That? most despised while living, and UOAV much 
honoured Mr. Ainsworth, 4 had scarce his peer amongst 
a thousand academians for the scripture originals, and yet 
he scarce set foot within a college-walls. 


Peace. I shall now present you with their tenth head, 
viz., concerning the magistrates power in matters of 

"That which is unjustly ascribed to the pope, is as 
unjustly ascribed to the magistrates, viz., to have power of 
making new articles of faith, or rules of life, or of pressing 
upon the churches to give such public honour to the 
apocrypha writings, or homilies of men, as to read them 
to the people in the room of the oracles of God." 

Truth. This position, simply considered, I acknowledge 
a most holy truth of God, both against the pope, and the 
civil magistrates challenge, both pretending to be the 
vicars of Christ Jesus upon the earth. Yet two things 
here I shall propose to consideration : 

4 [Mr. Henry Ainsworth, the most gently studious of the Hebrew text, 

eminent of the Brownists, was the hath not been unuseful to the church 

author of a very learned commentary in his exposition of the Pentateuch, 

on the Pentateuch and Canticles, as especially of Moses s rituals." Way 

also of several other minor works. of Cong. Churches, p. 6. Stuart s, edit. 

"Ho was," says Mr. Cotton, "dili- of his Two Treatises, p. 5.-,.] 


First, since the parliament of England thrust the pope 
out f ki s cna ^ r m England, and set down King Henry the 
Eighth and his successors in the pope s room, establishing 
England, them supreme governors of the church of England : since 
such an absolute government is given by all men to them 
to be guardians of the first table and worship of God, to 
set up the true worship, to suppress all false, and that by 
the power of the sword ; and therefore consequently they 
must judge and determine what the true is, and what the 
false : 

And since the magistrate is bound, by these authors 


principles, to see the church, the church officers, and 
must o? e members do their duty, he must therefore judge what is 
the church s duty, and when she performs or not performs 

ritual causes . vi i i 

als - it, or when she exceeds; so likewise when the ministers 

perform their duty, or when they exceed it : 

And if the magistrate must judge, then certainly by his 
own eye, and not by the eyes of others, though assembled 
in a national or general council : 

Then also, upon his judgment must the people rest, as 
upon the mind and judgment of Christ, or else it must be 
confessed that he hath no such power left him by Christ 
to compel the souls of men in matters of God s worship. 

Apocrypha, Secondly, concerning the apocrypha writings and homi- 

Common- . 

prayer, and lies to be urged by the magistrate to be read unto the 

homilies, J & 

oOT C fre- to P e pl e as tne oracles of God: I ask, if the homilies of 
fathers. England contain not in them much precious and heavenly 
matter? Secondly, if they were not penned, at least 
many of them, by excellent men for learning, holiness, 
and witness of Christ s truth incomparable? Thirdly, 
were they not authorized by that most rare and pious 
prince, Edward VI., then head of the church of England ? 5 

5 [The composition of the first buted to Cranmer, Ridley, Latimer, 
book of Homilies is generally attri- Hopkins, and Becon. Jewel is said 


With what great solemnity and rejoicing were they re 
ceived of thousands ! 

Yet now, behold their children after them sharply cen 
sure them for apocrypha writings, and homilies thrust into 
the room of the word of God, and so falling into the con 
sideration of a false and counterfeit scripture. 

I demand of these worthy men, whether a servant of A case - 
God might then lawfully have refused to read or hear 
such a false scripture ? 

Secondly, if so, whether King Edward might have law 
fully compelled such a man to yield and submit, or else 
have persecuted him ; yea, according to the authors prin 
ciples, whether he ought to have spared him; because 
after the admonitions of such pious and learned men, this 
man shall now prove a heretic, and as an obstinate person 
sinning against the light of his own conscience ? 

In this case what shall the consciences of the subject do, 
awed by the dread of the Most High? What shall the 
magistrate do, zealous for his glorious reformation, being 
constantly persuaded by his clergy of his lieutenantship 
received from Christ ? 

Again, what privilege have those worthy servants ofReforma- 
God, either in Old or New England, to be exempted from faiuwe. 
the mistakes into which those glorious worthies in King 
Edward s time did fall ? and if so, what bloody conclusions Bloody con. 


are presented to the world, persuading men to pluck up 
by the roots from the land of the living, all such as seem 
in their eyes heretical or obstinate ! 

to have had the largest share in the an early complaint of the Puritans, 

second, although Archbishop Parker The apocryphal books were com*, 

speaks of them as " revised and manded to be bound up with the 

finished, with a second part, by him other books of scripture by Arch- 

and other bishops." The first edition bishop Whitgift. Short s Hist, of 

of the first book appeared in July, Church of England, p. 239. Strype s 

1547, 1 Edward VI. The use of the Whitgift, i. 590. Neal, i. 427.] 
Apocrypha in the church service was 



Peace. Dear Truth, what dark and dismal bloody paths 
do we walk in? How is thy name and mine in all ages 
cried up, yet as an English flag in a Spanish bottom, not 
in truth, but dangerous treachery and abuse both of truth 
and peace ! 

Sad enth We are now come to the eleventh head, which concerns 
the magistrates power in worship? 

" First, they have power," say they, " to reform things 
in the worship of God in a church corrupted, and to 
establish the pure worship of God, defending the same by 
the power of the sword against all those who shall attempt 
to corrupt it. 

" For first, the reigning of idolatry and corruption in 
religion is imputed to the want of a king, Judges xvii. 
5, 6. 

" Secondly, remissness in reforming religion is a fault 
imputed to them who suffered the high places in Israel, 
and in Gallio who cared not for such things, Acts xviii. 17. 

" Thirdly, forwardness this way is a duty not only for 
kings in the Old Testament, but for princes under the 
New, 1 Tim. ii. 2 ; Eom. xiii. 4 ; Esay. xlix. 23. Neither 
did the kings of Israel reform things amiss as types of 
Christ, but as civil magistrates, and so exemplary to all 
Christians. And here reformation in religion is com 
mendable in a Persian king, Ezra vii. 23. And it is well 
known that remissness in princes of Christendom in mat 
ters of religion and worship, devolving the care thereof 
only to the clergy, and so setting the horns thereof upon 
the church s head, hath been the cause of anti-christian 


inventions, usurpations., and corruptions, in the worship 
and temple of God. 

" Secondly, they have not power to press upon the 
churches stinted prayers, or set liturgies, whether new or 
old, popish or others, under colour of uniformity of wor 
ship, or moral goodness of them both for matter and form, 
conceiving our arguments sent to our brethren in England 
concerning this question to evince this truth. 6 

" Thirdly, they have no power to press upon the 
churches, neither by law, as hath been said before, nor by 
proclamation and command, any sacred significant cere 
monies, whether more or less popish or Jewish rite, or 
any other device of man, be it never so little in the wor 
ship of God, under what colour soever of indifferency, 
civility, using them without opinion of sanctity, public 
peace, or obedience to righteous authority, as surplice, 
cross, kneeling at sacrament, salt and spittle in baptism, 
holy days; they having been so accursed of God, so 
abused by man, the imposing of some ever making way 
for the urging of more, the receiving of some making the 
conscience bow to the burden of all. 

" Fourthly, they have not power to govern and rule the 
acts of worship in the church of God. 

" It is with a magistrate in a state in respect of the 
acts of those who worship in a church, as it is with a 
prince in a ship, wherein, though he be governor of their 
persons, else he should not be their prince, yet is not 
governor of the actions of the mariners, then he should be 
pilot : indeed if the pilot shall manifestly err in his action, 

6 [A Letter of many Ministers in with their answer thereto returned, 

Old England requesting the judg- anno 1639, &c. Published 1CJ43, 

ment of their reverend brethren in 4to. pp. 90. For a condensed view 

New England concerning nine posi- of it, see Hanbury s Hist. Memorials, 

tions: written A.D. 1637. Together ii. pp. 18 39.] 


he may reprove him, and so any other passenger may : or 
if he offend against the life and goods of any, he may in 
due time and place civilly punish him, which no other 
passenger can do ; for, it is proper to Christ, the head of 
the church, as to prescribe so to rule the actions of his 
own worship in the ways of his servants, Esay. ix. 6, 7. 
The government of the church is upon his shoulder, which 
no civil officer ought to attempt. And therefore magis 
trates have no power to limit a minister, either to what he 
shall preach or pray, or in what manner they shall worship 
God, lest hereby they shall advance themselves above 
Christ, and limit his Spirit." 7 

Truth. In this general head are proposed two things. 

First, what the magistrate ought to do positively, con 
cerning the worship of God. 

Secondly. What he may do in the worship of God. 

What he ought to do is comprised in these particu 
lars : 

First. He ought to reform the worship of God when it 
is corrupted. 

Secondly. He ought to establish a pure worship of 

Thirdly. He ought to defend it by the sword : he ought 
to restrain idolatry by the sword, and to cut off offenders, 
as former passages have opened. 

For the proof of this positive part of his duty, are pro 
pounded three sorts of scriptures. 

First. From the practice of the kings of Israel and 

Secondly. Some from the New Testament. 

7 [Sentiments precisely similar to many years the ruling principles of 

the above were embodied in the the congregational churches of New 

seventeenth chapter of the Cambridge England. See C. Mather s Magnalia, 

Platform, and continued to be for book v. p. 37.] 


Thirdly. From the practice of kings of other nations. 

Unto which I answer, 

First. Concerning this latter, the Babylonian and Per- The ar s- 

* merit from 

sian kings Nebuchadnezzar, Cyrus, Darius, Artaxerxes 
I conceive I have sufficiently before proved, that these 
idolatrous princes making such acts concerning the God of m 
Israel, whom they did not worship nor know, nor meant 
so to do, did only permit, and tolerate, and countenance 
the Jewish worship; and out of strong convictions that 
this God of Israel was able to do them good, as well as 
their own gods, to bring wrath upon them and their king 
doms, as they believed their own also did, in which 
respect all the kings of the world may be easily brought to 
the like; but [they] are no precedent or pattern for all princes 
and civil magistrates in the world, to challenge or assume 
the power of ruling or governing the church of Christ, 
and of wearing the spiritual crown of the Lord, which he 
alone weareth in a spiritual way by his officers and gover 
nors after his own holy appointment. 

Secondly. For those of the New Testament I have, as 
I believe, fully and sufficiently answered. 

So also that prophecy of Isa. xlix. [23.] 

Lastly. However I have often touched those scriptures Theprece- 
produced from the practice of the kings of Israel and kings and 

governors of 

Judah, yet, because so great a weight of this controversy J^* 11 * 
lies upon this precedent of the Old Testament, from the examined - 
duties of this nature enjoined to those kings and governors 
and their practices, obeying or disobeying, accordingly 
commended or reproved, I shall, with the help of Christ 
Jesus, the true King of Israel, declare and demonstrate 
how weak and brittle this supposed pillar of marble is, to 
bear up and sustain such a mighty burden and weight of 
so many high concernments as are laid upon it. In which 
I shall evidently prove, that the state of Israel as a 


? na ti na l state, made up of spiritual and civil power, so far 
as ^ attended upon the spiritual, was merely figurative, 
and typing out the Christian churches consisting of both 
Jews and Gentiles, enjoying the true power of the Lord 
Jesus, establishing, reforming, correcting, defending in all 
cases concerning the kingdom and government. 


Peace. Blessed be the God of truth, the God of peace, 
who hath so long preserved us in this our retired confer 
ence without interruptions. His mercy still shields us 
while you express and I listen to that so much imitated, 
yet most inimitable state of Israel. 

Yet, before you descend to particulars, dear Truth, let 
me cast one mite into your great treasury, concerning 
that instance, just now mentioned, of the Persian kings. 
The Persian Methinks those precedents of Cyrus, Darius, and 

kings make *- > 

aglS^ach Artaxerxes, are strong against New England s tenent and 
tiiemfo? ce practice. Those princes professedly gave free permission 
ance of the and bountiful encouragement to the consciences of the 

doctrine of . . . 

persecution. Jews to use and practise their religion, which religion 
was most eminently contrary to their own religion and 
their country s worship. 

Truth. I shall, sweet Peace, with more delight pass on 
these rough ways, from your kind acceptance and un 
wearied patience in attention. 

In this discovery of that vast and mighty difference be 
tween that state of Israel and all other states, only to be 
matched and paralleled by the Christian church or Israel, 
I shall select some main and principal considerations con- 


cerning that state, wherein the irreconcilable differences 
and disproportion may appear. 

First. I shall consider the very land and country o 
Canaan itself, and present some considerations proving it 
to be a non-such. 

First. This land was espied out, and chosen by the Lord, The land of 

Canaan cho- 

out of all the countries of the world, to be the seat of his ? en b y God 

to be the 

church and people, Ezek. xx. 6. SchVbut 

But now there is no respect of earth, of places, or Jrw Tesu- 
countries with the Lord. So testified the Lord Jesus tions alike. 
Christ himself to the woman of Samaria, John iv. [21,] 
professing that neither at that mountain, nor at Jerusalem, 
should men worship the Father. 

While that national state of the church of the Jews 
remained, the tribes were bound to go up to Jerusalem to 
worship, Ps. cxxii. But now, in every nation, not the 
whole land or country as it was with Canaan, he that fear- 
eth God and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him, 
Acts x. 35. This then appeared in that large commission 
of the Lord Jesus to his first ministers : Go into all 
nations, and not only into Canaan, to carry tidings of 
mercy, &c. 

Secondly. The former inhabitants thereof, seven great 
and mighty nations, Deut. vii. 1, were all devoted to de 
struction by the Lord s own mouth, which was to be 
performed by the impartial hand of the children of Israel, 
without any sparing or showing mercy. 

But so now it hath not pleased the Lord to devote The inhabi 

tants of 
any people to present destruction, commanding his people JjjJJJ^ 8 

to kill and slay without covenant or compassion, Deut. 

9 that the 

V1L Z * Israelites 

Where have emperors, kings, or generals an immediate 
call from God to destroy whole cities, city after city, men, not so now. 



women, children, old and young, as Joshua practised? 
Josh. vi. and x., &c. 

This did Israel to these seven nations, that they them 
selves might succeed them in their cities, habitations, and 

This only is true in a spiritual antitype, when God s 
people by the sword, the two-edged sword of God s 
Spirit, slay the ungodly and become heirs, yea, fellow heirs 
with Christ Jesus, Rom. viii. 17. God s meek people in 
herit the earth, Matt. v. [5.] They mystically, like Noah, 
Heb. xi. 7, condemn the whole unbelieving world, both by 
present and future sentence, 1 Cor. vi. 2. 


The very Thirdly. The very materials, the gold and silver of the 
gold and idols of this land, were odious and abominable, and dan- 

pilver, of 

g erous to the people of Israel, that they might not desire 
. &> nor take lt to themselves, Deut. vii. 25, 26, lest them 
selves also become a curse, and like unto those cursed, 
abominable things. Whereas we find not any such accursed 
nature in the materials of idols or images now ; but that, 
the idolatrous forms being changed, the silver and gold 
may be cast and coined, and other materials lawfully em 
ployed and used. 

Yet this we find in the antitype, that gold, silver : yea, 
house, land : yea, wives, children : yea, life itself, as they 
allure and draw us from God in Christ, are to be abomi 
nated and hated by us, without which hatred and indigna 
tion, against the most plausible and pleasing enticings, 


from CHKIST JESUS, it is impossible for any man to be a 
true Christian, Luke xiv. 26. 

Fourthly. This land, this earth, was a holy land, Zech. 
ii. 12. Ceremonially and typically holy, fields, gardens, 
orchards, houses, &c., which holiness the world knows not 
now in one land or country, house, field, garden, &c., one 
above another. 

Yet in the spiritual land of Canaan, the Christian 

holiness m 

church, all things are made holy and pure, in all lands, to 5Ji5 l th? p 
the pure, Tit. i. [15;] meats and drinks are sanctified, that fnK t 

is, dedicated to the holy use of the thankful believers, 1 w. er 
Tim. iv. 5 ; yea, and the unbelieving husband, wife, and 
their children, are sanctified and made holy to believers, 
insomuch that that golden inscription, peculiar to the fore 
head of the high priest, Holiness to Jehovah, shall be written 
upon the very bridles of the horses, as all are dedicated to 
the service of Christ Jesus in the gospel s peace and 

Fifthly. The Lord expressly calls it his own land, Lev. The land of 

Canaan Je- 

xxv. 23 ; Hos. ix. 3, Jehovah s land, a term proper unto 
spiritual Canaan, the church of God, which must needs be 
in respect of his choice of that land to be the seat and 
residence of his church and ordinances. 

But now the partition-wall is broken down, and in re 
spect of the Lord s special propriety to one country more 
than another, what difference between Asia and Africa, 
between Europe and America, between England and Tur 
key, London and Constantinople ? 

This land, among many other glorious titles given to it, 

O ./ 3 

was called Emanuei s land, that is, God with us, Christ s 
land, or Christian land, Isa. viii. 8. 

But now, Jerusalem from above, is not material and 
earthly, but spiritual, Gal. iv. [2o;] Heb. xii. [22.] 
Material Jerusalem is no more the Lord s city than Jeri- 

T 2 


cho, Nineveh, or Babel, in respect of place or country : 
for even at Babel literal, was a church of Jesus Christ, 
1 Pet. v. [13.] 

It is true, that anti-christ hath christened all those 
countries whereon the whore sitteth, Rev. xvii., with the 
title of Christ s land, or Christian land. 

And Hundius, in his map of the Christian world, 
chris s tened he makes this land to extend to all Asia, a great part of 
ian world." Africa, all Europe, and a vast part of America, even so 
far as his unchristian christening hath gone. But as every 
false Christ hath false teachers, false Christians, false faith, 
hope, love, &c., and in the end false salvation, so doth he 
also counterfeit the false name of Christ, Christians, 
Christian land or country. 
The mate- Sixthly. This land was to keep her sabbaths unto God. 

rial land of / 

Six jell s they were to sow their fields, and prune their 
vines, but in the seventh year they were not to sow their 

country fields, nor prune their vineyards, but to eat that which 


grew of itself or own accord. 

But such observations doth not God now lay upon any 
fields, vineyards, &c., under the gospel. 

Yet, in the spiritual land of Canaan, the true church, 
there is a spiritual soul-rest or sabbath, a quiet depending 
upon God, a living by faith in him, a making him our 
portion, and casting all care upon him who careth for us : 
yea, sometimes he feedeth his by immediate, gracious 
wor ks of providence, when comforts arise out of the earth, 
without secondary means or causes, as here, or as elsewhere, 
manna descended from heaven. 

Seventhly. Such portions and possessions of lands, 
fields, houses, vineyards, were sold with caution or proviso 
of returning again in the year of jubilee to the right 
owners, Lev. xxv. 23. 

Such cautions, such provisos, are not now enjoined by 


God in the sale of lands, fields, inheritances, nor no such 
jubilee or redemption to be expected. 

Yea, this also finds a fulfilling in the spiritual Canaan, 
or church of God, unto which the silver trumpet of restitution 
jubilee, the gospel, hath sounded a spiritual restitution of tion in the? 


all their spiritual rights and inheritances, which either they 
have lost in the fall of the first man Adam, or in their 
particular falls, when they are captive, and sold unto sin, 
Rom. vii. [14,] or, lastly, in the spiritual captivity of 
Babel s bondage. How sweet then is the name of a Sa 
viour, in whom is the joyful sound of a deliverance and 
redemption ! 

Eighthly. This land or country was a figure or type 

the kingdom of heaven above, begun here below in the dom of God 
church and kingdom of God, Heb. iv. 8 ; Heb. xi. 9, 10. in heaven. 
Hence was a birthright so precious in Canaan s land: 
hence Naboth so inexorable and resolute in refusing to 
part with, his inheritance to King Ahab, counting all 
Ahab s seeming reasonable offers most unreasonable, as 
soliciting him to part with a garden plot of Canaan s land, 
though his refusal cost him his very life. 

What land, what country now is Israel s parallel and 
antitype, but that holy mystical nation, the church of 
God, peculiar and called out to him out of every nation 
and country, 1 Pet. ii. 9. In which every true spiritual 
Naboth hath his spiritual inheritance, which he dares not 
part with, though it be to his king or sovereign, and though 
such his refusal cost him this present life. 



Peace. Doubtless that Canaan land was not a pattern 
for all lands: it was a non-such, unparallelled, and mi 
ni atchable. 
The differ- Trutli. Many other considerations of the same nature I 

ence of the 

israenmd might annex, but I pick here and there a flower, and pass 
peoples. 1 on to a second head concerning the people themselves, 
wherein the state of the people shall appear unmatchable : 
but only by the true church and Israel of God. 
of he i 8 P raeuhe First - The people of Israel were all the seed or off- 
man. f e spring of one man, Abraham, Psalm cv. 6, and so down 
ward the seed of Isaac and Jacob, hence called the Israel 
of God, that is, wrestlers and prevailers with God, dis~ 
tinguished into twelve tribes, all sprung out of Israel s 

But now, few nations of the world but are a mixed seed; 
the people of England especially : the Britons, Picts, 
Romans, Saxons, Danes, and Normans, by a wonderful 
providence of God, being become one English people. 
go?I UHtho O^y tne spiritual Israel and seed of God, the new born, 
seethe are but one. Christ is the seed, Gal. iii. [16,] and they 
only that are Christ s are only Abraham s seed, and heirs 
according to the promise. 

This spiritual seed is the only antitype of the former 
figurative and typical. A seed which all Christians ought 
to propagate, yea, even the unmarried men and women 
who are not capable of natural oifspring, for thus is this 
called the seed of Christ (who lived and died unmarried), 
Isa. lix. 21. 

Secondly. This people was selected and separated to the 
Lord, his covenant and worship, from all the people and 


nations of the world beside, to be his peculiar and only 
people, Lev. xx. 26, &c. 

Therefore, such as returned from Babylon to Jerusalem, T , h ? P e P le 

of Israel 

they separated themselves to eat the passover, Ezra vi. S^ffna- 
[21.] And in that solemn humiliation and confession be- !-!taai!anT~ 
fore the Lord, Neh. ix. [2,] the children of Israel sepa- civSTSings. 
rated themselves from all strangers. 

This separation of theirs was so famous, that it extended 
not only to circumcision, the passover, and matters of 
God s worship, but even to temporal and civil things : 
thus (Ezra ix.) they separated or put away their very 
wives, which they had taken of the strange nations, con 
trary to the commandment of the Lord. 

But where hath the God of heaven, in the gospel, sepa- NO nation 

so separated 

rated whole nations or kingdoms, English, Scotch, Irish, Jj ie G o d g ** 
French, Dutch, &c., as a peculiar people and antitype of 
the people of Israel ? Yea, where the least footing in all 
the scripture for a national church after Christ s coming ? nation. 

Can any people in the world pattern this sampler but 
the new-born Israel, such as fear God in every nation, 
Acts x. 35, commanded to come forth, and separate from 
all unclean things or persons? 2 Cor. vi. [17,] and though 
not bound to put away strange wives as Israel did, because 
of that peculiar respect upon them in civil things, yet to 
be holy or set apart to the Lord in all manner of civil 
conversation, 1 Pet. i. 15 : only to marry in the Lord, 
yea, and to marry as if they married not, 1 Cor. vii. [29 :] 
yea, to hate wife and children, father, mother, house, and 
land, yea, and life itself for the Lord Jesus, Luke xiv. 26. 

Thirdly. This seed of Abraham thus separate from all The whole 
people unto the Lord, was wonderfully redeemed and israai mi- 
brought from Egypt bondage, through the Red Sea, and br ght 

&</ r forth of 

the wilderness, unto the land of Canaan, by many strange Egyptt 
signs and wonderful miracles, wrought by the out-stretched 


hand of the Lord, famous and dreadful, and to be admired 
by all succeeding peoples and generations, Deut. iv. 32 
34, Ask now from one side of the heaven unto the other, whe 
ther there hath been such a thing as this 9 &c. 

And we may ask again from one side of the heaven 
unto the other, whether the Lord hath now so miraculously 
redeemed and brought unto himself any nation or people, 
as he did this people of Israel. 

Peace. The English, Scotch, Dutch, &c., are apt to 
make themselves the parallels, as wonderfully come forth 
of popery, &c. 

Truth. 1. But first, whole nations are no churches 
under the gospel. 

f S y not 2. Secondly, bring the nations of Europe professing 

as is con- protestantism to the balance of the sanctuary, and ponder 

well whether the body, bulk, the general, or one hundredth 

part of such peoples, be truly turned to God from popery : 

Who knows not how easy it is to turn, and turn, and 

turn again, whole nations from one religion to another ? 

Wonderful WTio knows not that within the compass of one poor 

turnings in 

tvffiT in s P an f twelve years revolution, all England hath become 
paS S in m ~ from half papist, half protestant, to be absolute protest 
ants ; from absolute protestants, to absolute papists ; 
from absolute papists, changing as fashions, to absolute 
protestants ? 
The pope I will not say, as some worthy witnesses of Christ have 

not unlike 

K/monS. uttered, that all England and Europe must again submit 
fu^Tbe- their fair necks to tne pope s yoke ; but this I say, many 
scriptures concerning the destruction of the beast and the 
whore look that way. And I add, they that feel the pulse 
of the people seriously, must confess that a victorious 
sword and a Spanish inquisition will soon make millions 
face about as they were in the forefathers time. 



Peace. Oh ! that the steersmen of the nations might re 
member this, be wise and kiss the Son, lest he go on in 
this his dreadful anger, and dash them in pieces here and 

Truth. I therefore, thirdly, add, that only such as are who are 

now the 

Abraham s seed, circumcised in heart, new-born, Israel (or true seed of 

\ Abraham. 

wrestlers with God), are the antitype of the former Israel ; 
these are only the holy nation, 1 Pet. ii. 9; wonderfully 
redeemed from the Egypt of this world, Tit. ii. 14 ; 
brought through the Red Sea of baptism, 1 Cor. x. 2 ; 
through the wilderness of afflictions, and of the peoples, 
Deut. viii., Ezek. xx., into the kingdom of heaven begun 
below, even that Christian land of promise where flow the 
everlasting streams and rivers of spiritual milk and honey. 

Fourthly, all this people universally, in typical and SlSyiu 
ceremonial respect, were holy and clean in this their sepa- typical hoii- 
ration and sequestration unto God, Exod. xix. 5. Hence, ne 
even in respect of their natural birth in that land, they 
were a holy seed, and Ezra makes it the matter of his 
great complaint, Ezra ix. 1, 2, The holy seed have mingled 

But where is now that nation, or country, upon the 
face of the earth, thus clean and holy unto God, and 
bound to so many ceremonial cleansings and purgings ? 

Are not all the nations of the earth alike clean unto AH nations 

now alike 

God ? or rather, alike unclean, until it pleaseth the Father sinc ? the , 

coming of 

of mercies to call some out to the knowledge and grace of iesus ld 
his Son, making them to see their filthiness, and strange 
ness from the commonweal of Israel, and to wash in the 
blood of the Lamb of God ? 


This taking away the difference between nation and 
nation, country and country,, is most fully and admirably 
declared in that great vision of all sorts of living creatures 
presented unto Peter, Acts x. ; whereby it pleased the 
Lord to inform Peter of the abolishing of the difference 
between Jew and Gentile in any holy or unholy, clean or 
unclean respect. 

Jf h i s c raei d l en Fifthly not only to speak of all, but to select one or 
iSS, or e two more this people of Israel in that national state 
God only were a tvpe of all the children of God in all acres under 

under the 

gospel. t^ profession of the gospel, who are therefore called the 
children of Abraham, and the Israel of God, Gal. iii. and 
Gal. vi. [16.] A kingly priesthood and holy nation, 1 Pet. 
ii. 9, in a clear and manifest antitype to the former Israel, 
Exod. xix. 6. 

Hence Christians now are figuratively, in this respect, 
called Jews, Rev. iii. [9,] where lies a clear distinction of 
the true and false Christian under the consideration of the 
true and false Jew : Behold I will make them of the syna 
gogue of Satan that say they are Jews and are not, but do lie, 
Rev. iii. [9.] But such a typical respect we find not now 
upon any people, nation, or country of the whole world ; 
but out of all nations, tongues, and languages is God 
pleased to call some, and redeem them to himself, Rev. v. 
9 ; and hath made no difference between the Jews and 
Gentiles, Greeks and Scythians, Gal. iii. [28,] who by 
regeneration, or second birth, become the Israel of God, 
Gal. vi. [16,] the temple of God, 1 Cor. iii. [17,] and 
the true Jerusalem, Heb. xii. [22.] 

Lastly, all this whole nation, or people, as they were of 
one typical seed of Abraham, and sealed with a shameful 

figurative and painful ordinance of cutting off the foreskin, which 
maiwor- differenced them from all the world beside: so also were 


they bound to such and such solemnities of figurative 


worships. Amongst many others I shall end this passage 
concerning the people with a famous observation out of 
.Num. ix. 13, viz., all that whole nation was bound to 
celebrate and keep the feast of the passover in his season, 
or else they were to be put to death. But doth God 
require a whole nation, country, or kingdom now thus to 
celebrate the spiritual passover, the supper and feast of the 
Lamb Christ Jesus, at such a time once a year, and that 
whosoever shall not so do shall be put to death? What 
horrible profanations, what gross hypocrisies, yea, what 
wonderful desolations, sooner or later, must needs follow 
upon such a course ! 

It is true, the people of Israel, brought into covenant Israel, God s 

only church, 

with God in Abraham, and so successively born in cove- mi s ht e] l 

J renew that 

nant with God, might, in that state of a national church, national 

and ceremo- 

solemnly covenant and swear that whosoever would not niai worship, 
seek Jehovah, the God of Israel, should be put to death, Cations ca e n- 

not imitate. 

2 Chron. xv. [12, 13,] whether small or great, whether 
man or woman. 

But may whole nations or kingdoms now, according to 
any one tittle expressed by Christ Jesus to that purpose, 
follow that pattern of Israel, and put to death all, both 
men and women, great and small, that according to the 
rules of the gospel are not born again, penitent, humble, 
heavenly, patient ? &c. What a world of hypocrisy from 
hence is practised by thousands, that for fear will stoop to 
give that God their bodies in a form, whom yet in truth 
their hearts affect not ! 

Yea, also what a world of profanation of the holy name The hypo- 
and holy ordinances of the Lord, in prostituting the holy t u i J s and 
things of God, like the vessels of the sanctuary, Dan. v., 
to profane, impenitent, and unregenerate persons ! 

Lastly, what slaughters, both of men and women, must 
this necessarily bring into the world, by the insurrections 


and civil wars about religion and conscience ! Yea, what 
slaughters of the innocent and faithful witnesses of Christ 
Jesus, who choose to be slain all the day long for Christ s 
sake, and to fight for their Lord and Master Christ, only 
with spiritual and Christian weapons ! 


Peace. It seems, dear Truth, a mighty gulf between 
that people and nation, and the nations of the world then 
extant and ever since. 

Truth. As sure as the blessed substance to all those 
shadows, Christ Jesus, is come, so unmatchable and never 
to be parallelled by any national state vras that Israel in 
the figure, or shadow. 

And yet the Israel of God now, the regenerate or new 
born, the circumcised in heart by repentance and mortifi 
cation, who willingly submit unto the Lord Jesus as their 
only King and Head, may fitly parallel and answer that 
Israel in the type, without such danger of hypocrisy, of 
such horrible profanations, and of firing the civil state in 
such bloody combustions, as all ages have brought forth 
upon this compelling a whole nation or kingdom to be the 
antitype of Israel. 
The differ- Peace. Were this light entertained, some hopes would 

ence of the . 

kings and shine forth tor my return and restoration. 

governors of 

Israel from Truth. I have yet to add a third consideration, concern- 

all kings and * 

fhlwo?id. of m g tne kings and governors of that land and people. 
we^ ai?^ They were to be, unless in their captivities, of their 
thehu r rch. brethren, members of the true church of God : as appears 

in the history of Moses, the elders of Israel, and the 

judges and kings of Israel afterward. 


But first 5 who can deny but that there may be now 
many lawful governors, magistrates, and kings, in the 
nations of the world, where is no true church of Jesus 
Christ ? 

Secondly, we know the many excellent gifts wherewith 
it hath pleased God to furnish many, enabling them for 
public service to their countries both in peace and war, as e 
all ages and experience testify, on whose souls he hath not 
yet pleased to shine in the face of Jesus Christ: which 
gifts and talents must all lie buried in the earth, unless 
such persons may lawfully be called and chosen to, and 
improved in public service, notwithstanding their different 
or contrary conscience or worship. 

Thirdly, if none but true Christians, members of Christ A doctrine 

contrary to 

Jesus, might be civil magistrates, and publicly entrusted an true piety 

* and humani- 

with civil affairs, then none but members of churches, ty itselfl 
Christians, should be husbands of wives, fathers of child 
ren, masters of servants. But against this doctrine the 
whole creation, the whole world, may justly rise up in 
arms, as not only contrary to true piety, but common 
humanity itself. For if a commonweal be lawful amongst 
men that have not heard of God nor Christ, certainly 
their officers, ministers, and governors must be lawful also. 

Fourthly, it is notoriously known to be the dangerous The papists- 
doctrine of 
doctrine professed by some papists, that princes degene- 

rating from their religion, and turning heretics, are to be e5c 
deposed, and their subjects actually discharged from their 
obedience. Which doctrine all such must necessarily 
hold, however most loath to own it, that hold the magis 
trate guardian of both tables; and consequently such a 
one as is enabled to judge, yea, and to demonstrate to all 
men the worship of God: yea, and being thus governor 
and head of the church, he must necessarily be a part of it 
himself; which when ly hereby he falls from though it 


may be by truth, miscalled heresy he falls from his 
calling of magistracy, and is utterly disabled from his 
(pretended) guardianship and government of the church. 

Lastly, we may remember the practice of the Lord 
christ S an in J GSUS an( l his followers, commanding and practising 
obedience to the higher powers, though we find not one 
civil magistrate a Christian in all the first churches. But 
contrarily, the civil magistrate at that time was the bloody 
beast, made up (as Daniel seems to imply concerning the 
Roman state, Dan. vii. 7) of the lion, the bear, and the 
leopard, Rev. xiii. 2. 


Peace. By these weights we may try the weight of that 
commonly received and not questioned opinion, viz., that 
the civil state and the spiritual, the church and the com 
monweal, they are like Hippocrates twins, they are born 
together, grow up together, laugh together, weep together, 
sicken and die together. 
Five demon- Truth. A witty, yet a most dangerous fiction of the 

strative ar- ^ ^ 

|ring S the ^ atner ^ ^ es j who, hardened in rebellion against God, 
persuades God s people to drink down such deadly poison, 
and 6 though he knows the truth of these five particulars, which 

the common- T , ,, n t p 

wealth are 1 shall remind you or : 

crates twins. First, many flourishing states in the world have been 

ishing states and are at this day, which hear not of Jesus Christ, and 

without a 

true church, therefore have not the presence and concurrence of a 

church of Christ with them. 
Many of Secondly, there have been many thousands of God s 

God s people J J 

people, who in their personal estate and life of grace were 
awake to God ; but in respect of church estate, they knew 


no other than a church of dead stones, the parish church ; 
or though some light be of late come in through some 
cranny, yet they seek not after, or least of all are joined 
to any true church of God, consisting of living and be 
lieving stones. 

So that by these New English ministers principles, not y et fit for 

* civil scrvi- 

only is the door of calling to magistracy shut against ces - 
natural and unregenerate men, though excellently fitted 
for civil offices, but also against the best and ablest ser 
vants of God, except they be entered into church estate : 
so that thousands of God s own people, excellently quali 
fied, not knowing or not entering into such a church 
estate, shall not be accounted fit for civil services. 

Thirdly, admit that a civil magistrate be neither a 
member of a true church of Christ, if any be in his 
dominions, nor in his person fear God, yet may he (pos 
sibly) give free permission without molestation, yea, and 
sometimes encouragement and assistance, to the service 
and church of God. Thus we find Abraham permitted to God s people 


build and set up an altar to his God wheresoever he came, J^JJJa^S! 
amongst the idolatrous nations in the land of Canaan. 
Thus Cyrus proclaims liberty to all the people of God in 
his dominions, freely to go up and build the temple of 
God at Jerusalem, and Artaxerxes after him confirmed it. 

Thus the Roman emperors, and governors under them, 
permitted the church of God, the Jews, in the Lord 
Christ s time, their temple and worship, although in civil 
things they were subject to the Romans. 

Fourthly, the scriptures of truth and the records of christ s 

church ga- 

time concur in this, that the first churches of Christ 

Jesus, the lights, patterns, and precedents to all succeed- heipofan he 
ing ages, were gathered and governed without the aid, ar 
assistance, or countenance of any civil authority, from 


which they suffered great persecutions for the name of the 
Lord Jesus professed amongst them. 

The nations, rulers, and kings of the earth, tumultuously 
rage against the Lord and his anointed, Ps. ii. 1, 2. Yet, 
ver. 6, it hath pleased the Father to set the Lord Jesus 
King upon his holy hill of Zion. 

Christ Jesus would not be pleased to make use of the 
civil magistrate to assist him in his spiritual kingdom, nor 
would he yet be daunted or discouraged in his servants by 
all their threats and terrors : for love is strong as death, 
and the coals thereof give a most vehement flame, and are 
not quenched by all the waters and floods of mightiest 
opposition, Cant. viii. [6, 7.] 
Christ s true Christ s church is like a chaste and loving wife, in whose 


neart is fi xe d her husband s love, who hath found the 

fn the midst tenderness of his love towards her, and hath been made 
favours from fruitful by him, and therefore seeks she not the smiles, 
nor fears the frowns, of all the emperors in the world to 
bring her Christ unto her, or keep him from her. 

Lastly, we find in the tyrannical usurpations of the 

Komish anti-christ, the ten horns which some of good 

homs, Rev. note conceive to be the ten kingdoms into which the 

xiii. and . 

Roman empire was quartered and divided are expressly 
said, Rev. xvii. 13, to have one mind to give their power 
and strength unto the beast; yea, ver. 17, their kingdom 
unto the beast, until the works of God shall be fulfilled. 
Whence it follows, that all those nations that are gilded 
over with the name of Christ, have under that mask or 
vizard (as some executioners and tormenters in the inqui 
sition use to torment) persecuted the Lord Jesus Christ, 
either with a more open, gross, and bloody, or with a 
more subtle, secret, and gentle violence. 

Let us cast our eyes about, turn over the records, and 


examine the experience of past and present generations, 
and see if all particular observations amount not to this 
sum, viz., that the great whore hath committed fornication 
with the kings of the earth, and made drunk thereof 
nations with the cup of the wine of her fornications : in 
w T hich drunkenness and whoredom (as whores use to prac 
tise) she hath robbed the kings and nations of their power 
and strength, and, Jezebel like, having procured the kings Christian 
names and seals, she drinks [herself] drunk, Rev. xvii. [6,] slau s htered - 
with the blood of Naboth, who, because he dares not part 
with his rightful inheritance in the land of Canaan, the 
blessed land of promise and salvation in Christ, as a traitor 
to the civil state and blasphemer against God, she, under 
the colour of a day of humiliation in prayer and fasting, 
stones to death. 


Peace. Dear Truth, how art thou hidden from the eyes 
of men in these mysteries ! how should men weep abun 
dantly with John, that the Lamb may please to open these 
blessed seals unto them ! 

Truth. Oh that men more prized their Maker s fear ! 
then should they be more acquainted with their Maker s 
councils, for his secret is with them that fear him, Ps. 
xxv. 14. 

I pass on to a second difference. 

Second dif- 

The kings of Israel and Judah were all solemnly 
anointed with oil, Ps. Ixxxix. 20, / have found David R 
my servant, with my oil have I anointed him. Whence the inUi a? 

. Judah. 

kings of Israel and Judah were honoured with that 
mystical and glorious title of the anointed, or Christ of 


the Lord, Lam. iv. 20, The breath of our nostrils, the 
anointed of Jehovah, ivas taken in their pits, &c. 

Which anointing and title however, the man of sin, 
together with the crown and diadem of spiritual Israel, 
the church of God, he hath given to some of the kings of 
the earth, that so he may in lieu thereof dispose of their 
civil crowns the easier : yet shall we find it an incom 
municable privilege and prerogative of the saints and 
people of God. 

For as the Lord Jesus himself in the antitype was not 
anointed with material but spiritual oil, Ps. xlv. 7, with the 
oil of gladness i and Luke iv. 18, from Isaiah Ixi. 1, with 
the Spirit of God, The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, the 
Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings, &c. ; so also 
all his members are anointed with the Holy Spirit of God, 
2 Cor. i. 21, and 1 John ii. 20. 
The name Hence is it that Christians rejoice in that name, as 

Christian, or . , . , ,, , . 

anointed carrying the very express title or the anointed of the 
Lord ; which most superstitiously and sacrilegiously hath 
been applied only unto kings. 

A sacriiegi Peace. O dear Truth, how doth the great Searcher of 
The all hearts find out the thefts of the anti-christian world I 

, i i i i i i ii 

now are men carried in trie dark they know not whither I 
How is that heavenly charge, Touch not mine anointed, &c., 
Ps. cv. 15, common to all Christians, or anointed [ones] 
with Christ their head, by way of monopoly or privilege 
appropriated to kings and princes ! 

Truth. It will not be here unseasonable to call to mind 

that admirable prophecy, Ezek. xxi. 26, 27, Thus saith 

The crown Jehovah God, remove the diadem, take away the crown : this 

of Christ s J 

kingiy shall not be the same ; exalt him that is low, and abase him 


that is high ; I will overturn, overturn, overturn, until lie, 
come whose rig lit it is ; and I will give it him. The matter 
is a crown and diadem to be taken from a usurper s head, 
and set upon the head of the right owner. 

name Chris- 


Peace. Doubtless this mystically intends the spiritual 
crown of the Lord Jesus, for these many hundred years 
set upon the heads of the competitors and co-rivals of the 
Lord Jesus, upon whose glorious head, in his messengers 
and churches, the crown shall be established. The anoint 
ing, the title, and the crown and power, must return to the 
Lord Jesus in his saints, unto whom alone belongs his 
power and authority in ecclesiastical or spiritual cases. 


Truth. I therefore proceed to a third difference between Third< The 
those kings and governors of Israel and Judah, and all isS and 
other kings and rulers of the earth. Look upon the vested with 

a spiritual 

administrations of the kings of Israel and Judah, and well P wer - 
weigh the power and authority which those kings of Israel 
and Judah exercised in ecclesiastical and spiritual causes ; 
and upon a due search we shall not find the same sceptre 
of spiritual power in the hand of civil authority, which 
was settled in the hands of the kings of Israel and Judah. 

David appointed the orders of the priests and singers, 
he brought the ark to Jerusalem, he prepared for the 
building of the Temple, the pattern whereof he delivered 
to Solomon : yet David herein could not be a type of the 
kings and rulers of the earth, but of the king of heaven, 
Christ Jesus : for, 

First, David, as he was a king, so was he also a prophet, 
Acts ii. 30 ; and therefore a type, as Moses also was, of that 
great prophet, the Son of God. And they that plead for 
David s kingly power, must also by the same rule plead 

u 2 


for his prophetical, by which he swayed the sceptre of 
Israel in church affairs. 
David im- Secondly, it is expressly said, 1 Chron. xxviii. 11, 12, 

mediately J . 

the p s r( irit b jf 13 J tnat ^ e P attern which David gave to Solomon, 
ordoriJ g h of S concerning the matter of the temple and worship of God, 

church mat- ^ ^ ^ ^ g^^ ^^ wftg nQ ^^ but ft figure Q 

the immediate inspiration of the Spirit of God unto the 
Lord Jesus, the true spiritual king of Israel, John i. 49, 
Rabb^ iliou art the Son of God ; Rabbi, thou art the King of 
Solomon s Again, what civil magistrate may now act as Solomon, 


(i a type of Christ, doth act, 1 Kings ii. 26, 27 ? Solomon 

Kings ii. 26, 
27,) dis 

thrust out Abiathar from being priest unto Jehovah. 

Peace. Some object that Abiathar was a man of death, 
ver. 26, worthy to die, as having followed Adonijah ; and 
therefore Solomon executed no more than civil justice 
upon him. 

Solomon s Truth. Solomon remits the civil punishment, and inflicts 
athar from upon him a spiritual ; but by what right, but as he was king 

the priest 

hood exa- o f the church, a figure of Christ ? 


Abiathar s life is spared with respect to his former 
good service in following after David ; but yet he is 
turned out from the priesthood. 
A case put But now P u ^ the case : suppose that any of the officers 

ia- of the New England churches should prove false to the 
state, and be discovered joining with a French Monsieur, 
or Spanish Don, thirsting after conquest and dominion, to 
further their invasions of that country ; yet for some 
former faithful service to the state, he should not be 
adjudged to civil punishment: I ask now, might their 
governors, or their general court (their parliament), depose 
such a man, a pastor, teacher, or elder, from his holy 
calling or office in God s house ? 

Or suppose, in a partial and corrupt state, a member or 



officer of a church should escape with his life upon the 
commission of murder, ought not a church of Christ upon 
repentance to receive him ? I suppose it will not be said, 
that he ought to execute himself; or that the church may 
use a civil sword against him. In these cases may such 
persons, spared in civil punishments for some reason of or 
by partiality of state, be punished spiritually by the civil 
magistrate, as Abiathar was. Let the very enemies of 
Zion be judges. 

Secondly, if Solomon in thrusting out of Abiathar was a 
pattern and precedent unto all civil magistrates, why not 
also in putting Zadok in his room, ver. 35 ? But against 
this the pope, the bishops, the presbyterians, and the inde 
pendents, will all cry out against such a practice, in their 
several respective claims and challenges for their 

We find the liberty of the subjects of Christ in the 

J J The liberties 

choice of an apostle, Acts i. ; of a deacon, Acts vi. ; of ch 
elders, Acts xiv. ; and guided by the assistance either of 
the apostles or evangelists, 1 Tim. i., Tit. i., without the 
least influence of any civil magistrate : which shows the 
beauty of their liberty. 

The parliaments of England have by right free choice A civil influ . 
of their speaker : yet some princes have thus far been 

gratified as to nominate, yea, and implicitly to commend a ties. 
speaker to them. Wise men have seen the evil conse 
quences of those influences, though but in civil things : 
how much far greater and stronger are those snares, 
when the golden keys of the Son of God are delivered 
into the hands of civil authority ! 

Peace. You know the noise raised concerning those 
famous acts of Asa, Hezekiah, Jehoshaphat, Josiah. 
What think you of the fast proclaimed by Jehoshaphat ? 
2 Chron. xx. 3. 


Truth. I find it to be the duty of kings and all in 
authority, to encourage Christ s messengers of truth 
proclaiming repentance, &c. 

But under the gospel, to enforce all natural and unre- 
generate people to acts of worship, what precedent hath 
Christ Jesus given us ? 

First, it is true Jehoshaphat proclaimed a fast, &c. ; but 
examined. was h e no m ma tters spiritual a type of Christ, the true 
king of Israel ? 

Secondly, Jehoshaphat calls the members of the true 
church to church service and worship of God. 
if civil But consider, if civil powers now may judge of and 

powers may * J 

determine the actions of worship proper to the saints : if 
they may appoint the time of the church s worship, 
fasting, and prayer, &c., why may they not as well forbid 
those times which a church of Christ shall make choice of, 
seeing it is a branch of the same root to forbid what liketh 
not, as well as to enjoin what pleaseth ? 

And if in those most solemn duties and exercises, why 
not also in other ordinary meetings and worships ? And 
if so, where is the power of the Lord Jesus, bequeathed 
to his ministers and churches, of which the power of those 
kings was but a shadow ? 


Peace. The liberty of the subject sounds most sweet 
London and Oxford both profess to fight for : how much 
infinitely more sweet is that true soul liberty according to 
Christ Jesus ! 

God win not I know you would not take from Caesar aught, although 
and c"*- it were to give to God ; and what is God s and his 


people s I wish that Cassar may not take. Yet, for the ot 
satisfaction of some, be pleased to glance upon Josiah, his God> 
famous acts in the church of God, concerning the worship 
of God, the priests, Levites, and their services, compelling 
the people to keep the passover, making himself a covenant 
before the Lord, and compelling all that were found in 
Jerusalem and Benjamin to stand to it. 

Truth. To these famous practices of Josiah, I shall 
parallel the practices of England s kings ; and first, dejure, 
a word or two of their right : then, de facto, discuss what 
hath been done. 

First, de jure ; Josiah was a precious branch of that 
royal root king David, who was immediately designed by 
God : and when the golden links of the royal chain broke 
in the usurpations of the Roman conqueror, it pleased the 
most wise God to send a son of David, a Son of God, to 
begin again that royal line, to sit upon the throne of his 
father David, Luke i. 32 ; Acts ii. 30. 

It is not so with the Gentile princes, rulers, and magis- 
trates, whether monarchical, aristocratical, or democratical ; 

who, though government in general be from God, yet, from the 
receive their callings, power, and authority, both kings and 
parliaments, mediately from the people. 

Secondly. Josiah and those kings, were kings and 
governors over the then true and only church of God 
national, brought into the covenant of God in Abraham, 
and so downward : and they might well be forced to stand 
to that covenant into which, with such immediate signs and 
miracles, they had been brought. 

But what commission from Christ Jesus had Henry J^Jj c n n ~ a 
VIIL, Edward VL, or any, Josiah like, to force the many SJ^t by 
hundred thousands of English men and women, without s?^s,and 
such immediate signs and miracles that Israel had, to tut so not 

. . England. 

enter into a holy and spiritual covenant with the invisible 


God, the Father of spirits, or upon pain of death, as in 
Josiah s time, to stand to that which they never made, nor 
before evangelical repentance are possibly capable of? 

Now secondly, de facto: let it be well remembered 
governor of concerning the kings of England professing reformation, 
of England. The foundation of all was laid in Henry VIII. The pope 
challengeth to be the vicar of Christ Jesus here upon 
earth, to have power of reforming the church, redressing 
abuses, &c. : Henry VIII. falls out with the pope, and 
challengeth that very power to himself of which he had 
despoiled the pope, as appears by that act of parliament 
establishing Henry VIII. the supreme head and governor 
in all cases ecclesiastical, &c. 8 It pleased the most high 
God to plague the pope by Henry VIII. s means : but 
neither pope nor king can ever prove such power from 
Christ derived to either of them. 

MfOTmiSs Secondly, as before intimated, let us view the works and 

tagsof reS- acts of England s imitation of Josiah s practice. Henry 

England s VII. leaves England under the slavish bondage of the 

pope s yoke. Henry VIII. reforms all England to a new 

fashion, half papist, half protestant. King Edward VI. 

turns about the wheels of the state, and works the whole 

land to absolute protestantism. Queen Mary, succeeding 

to the helm, steers a direct contrary course, breaks in 

pieces all that Edward wrought, and brings forth an old 

edition of England s reformation all popish. Mary not 

living out half her days, as the prophet speaks of bloody 

states oSen P ersons > Elizabeth, like Joseph, advanced from the prison 

Sften phlck t tne Palace, and from the irons to the crown, she plucks 

religions. U p a ^ j^r gigter Mary s plants, and sounds a trumpet all 


What sober man stands not amazed at these revolutions ? 

8 [See Tracts on Lib. of Conscience, Introd. p. xxxii.] 


and yet, like mother like daughter : and how zealous are 
we, their offspring, for another impression, and better edi 
tion of a national Canaan, in imitation of Judah and 
Josiah ! which, if attained, who knows how soon succeeding 
kings or parliaments will quite pull down and abrogate ? 9 
Thirdly, in all these formings and reformings, a national 
church of natural, unregenerate men, was (like wax) the J 
subject matter of all these forms and changes, whether re 
-popish or protestant : concerning which national state, the 
time is yet to come whenever the Lord Jesus hath given a 
word of institution and appointment. 


Peace. You bring to mind, dear Truth, a plea of some A woman, 

papissa, or 

wiser papists for the pope s supremacy, viz., that it was no Jhurctf the 
such exorbitant or unheard of power and jurisdiction 
which the pope challenged, but the very same which a 
woman, Queen Elizabeth herself, challenged, styling her 
papissa or she-pope : withal pleading, that in point of rea 
son it was far more suitable that the Lord Jesus would 
delegate his power rather to a clergyman than a layman, 
as Henry VIII. ; or a woman, as his daughter Elizabeth. 

Truth. I believe that neither one or the other hit the T ^ papists 

nearer to 

white ; x yet I believe the papists arrows fall the nearest to thc tmt *> 


it in this particular, viz., that the government of the 
church of Christ should rather belong to such as profess a 
ministry or office spiritual, than to such as are merely 
temporal and civil. 

9 [The Assembly of Divines was at 1 [The central part of a target, 

this time engaged in forming a direct- which anciently was painted white.] 
ory of worship for the entire nation.] 


So that in conclusion, the whole controversy concerning 
the government of Christ s kingdom or church, will be 
found to lie between the true and false ministry, both 
challenging the true commission, power, and keys from 

power 1 ? the Peace. This all glorious diadem of the kingly power of 
troubies S aii the Lord Jesus hath been the eye-sore of the world, and 
and rule of that which the king s and rulers of the world have always 

the world. 

lift up their hands unto. 

The first report of a new king of the Jews puts Herod 
and all Jerusalem into frights ; and the power of this 
most glorious King of kings over the souls and consciences 
of men, or over their lives and worships, is still the white 
that all the princes of this world shoot at, and are en 
raged at the tidings of the true heir, the Lord Jesus, in his 

xaitatio d Truth. You well mind, dear Peace, a twofold exaltation 
Christ. Q t ] ie L or <l Jesus; one in the souls and spirits of men, 
and so he is exalted by all that truly love him, though yet 
remaining in Babel s captivity, and before they hearken 
to the voice of the Lord, " Come forth of Babel, my 

A second exaltation of Christ Jesus, upon the throne of 
David his father, in his church and congregation, which is 
his spiritual kingdom here below. 

The world I confess there is a tumultuous rage at his entrance 

stormeth at . 

into his throne in the soul and consciences of any of his 
chosen ; but against his second exaltation in his true kingly 
power and government, either monarchical in himself, or 
ministerial in the hands of his ministers and churches, are 
mustered up, and shall be in the battles of Christ yet to be 
fought, all the powers of the gates of earth and hell. 
difference, But I shall mention one difference more between the 


kings of Israel and Judah, and all other kings and rulers 
of the Gentiles. 

Those kings as kings of Israel were all invested with a K i"gs f 

e Israel types. 

typical and figurative respect, with which now no civil 
power in the world can be invested. 

They wore a double crown : first, civil ; secondly, spi- JS le vore a 
ritual : in which respect they typed out the spiritual king crown> 
of Israel, Christ Jesus. 

When I say they were types, I make them not in all 
respects so to be ; but as kings and governors over the 
church and kingdom of God, therein types. 

Hence all those saviours and deliverers, which it pleased 
God to stir up extraordinarily to his people, Gideon, J h s * ^ 
Baruc, Sampson, &c.; in that respect of their being Saviour 
saviours, judges, and deliverers of God s people, so were world! 
they types of Jesus Christ, either monarchically ruling 
by himself immediately, or ministerially by such whom he 
pleaseth to send to vindicate the liberties and inheritances 
of his people. 


Peace. It must needs be confessed, that since the kings 
of Israel were ceremonially anointed with oil : and 

Secondly, in that they sat upon the throne of David, 
which is expressly applied to Christ Jesus, Luke i. 32 ; 
Acts ii. 30 ; John i. 49, their crowns were figurative and 
ceremonial ; but some here question, whether or no they 
were not types of civil powers and rulers now, when 
kings and queens shall be nursing fathers and nursing 
mothers, &c. 


Truth. For answer unto such, let them first remember 
power of* 1 that the dispute lies not concerning the monarchical power 
of the Lord Jesus, the power of making laws, and making 
ordinances to his saints and subjects ; but concerning a 
deputed and ministerial power, and this distinction the 
very pope himself acknowledgeth. 
cwnpeSora There are three great competitors for this deputed or 

for the mi- . . . , p , T -, T 

nisteriai ministerial power or the .Lord J esus. 

power of 

Christ. The First. The arch-vicar of Satan, the pretended vicar of 

popes great 

for the ders Christ on earth, who sits as God over the temple of God, 
poSwof* 1 exalting himself not only above all that is called God, but 
over the souls and consciences of all his vassals, yea, over 
the Spirit of Christ, over the holy scriptures, yea, and 
God himself, Dan. viii. and xi., and Rev. xv., together 
with 2 Thess. ii. 

This pretender, although he professeth to claim but the 

ministerial power of Christ, to declare his ordinances, to 

upon the P reacn > baptize, ordain ministers, and yet doth he upon 

EngetJM 1 " ^e P omt challenge the monarchical or absolute power also, 

monarc] ai k^g .ftj} o f se lf-exaltmg and blaspheming, Dan. vii. 25, 

and xi. 36 ; Rev. xiii. 6, speaking blasphemies against the 

God of heaven, thinking to change times and laws ; but 

he is the son of perdition arising out of the bottomless 

pit, and comes to destruction, Rev. xvii., for so hath the 

Lord Jesus decreed to consume him by the breath of his 

mouth, 2 Thess. ii. 

gr h elt se P C re" d The second great competitor to this crown of the Lord 

cfvUm aSs- Jesus is the civil magistrate, whether emperors, kings, or 

other inferior officers of state, who are made to believe, by 

the false prophets of the world, that they are the antitypes 

of the kings of Israel and Judah, and wear the crown of 


fact? e n s rea1 Under the wing of the civil magistrate do three great 


an arm of factions shelter themselves, and mutually oppose each 


other, striving as for life who shall sit down under the 
shadow of that arm of flesh. 

First, the prelacy : who, though some extravagants of c e ? T - 
late have inclined to waive the king, and to creep under 
the wings of the pope, yet so far depends upon the king, 
that it is justly said they are the king s bishops. 

Secondly, the presbytery : who, though in truth they 
ascribe not so much to the civil magistrate as some too 
grossly do, yet they give so much to the civil magistrate 
as to make him absolutely the head of the church : for, if 
they make him the reformer of the church, the suppressor 
of schismatics and heretics, the protector and defender of 
the church, &c., what is this, in true, plain English, but to 
make him the judge of the true and false church, judge of 
what is truth and what error, who is schismatical, who The pope 

. and presby 

heretical ? unless they make him only an executioner, as tery make" 

J J m use of the 

the pope doth in his punishing of heretics. 

I doubt not but the aristocratical government of pres- 
byterians may well subsist in a monarchy, not only regu 
lated but also tyrannical ; yet doth it more naturally 
delight in the element of an aristocratical government of 
state, and so may properly be said to be as the prelates 
the king s, so these the state-bishop s. 

The third, though not so great, yet growing faction is Jen t n 8 deper " 
that (so called) independent : I prejudice not the personal 
worth of any of the three sorts : this latter, as I believe 

this discourse hath manifested, jumps with the prelates, The inde 
and, though not more fully, yet more explicitly than the wll come 

presbyterians, cast down the crown of the Lord Jesus at the bish P s - 
the feet of the civil magistrate. And although they pre 
tend to receive their ministry from the choice of two or 
three private persons in church covenant, yet would they 
fain persuade the mother of Old England to imitate her 
daughter New England s practice, viz., to keep out the 


presbyterians, and only to embrace themselves, both as the 
state s and the people s bishops. 

^e tn i r d competition for this crown and power of the 

that h s e S pa- Lord Jesus is of those that separate both from one and 
the other, yet divided also amongst themselves into many 
several professions. 

Of these, they that go furthest profess they must yet 
come nearer to the ways of the Son of God : and doubt 
less, so far as they have gone, they bid the most, and 
make the fairest plea for the purity and power of Christ 
Jesus,- let the rest of the inhabitants of the world be 

Let all the former well be viewed in their external 
state ^ P om P? riches, conformity to the world, &c. And on 

to Christ. fa Q other side, let the latter be considered, in their more 
thorough departure from sin and sinful worship, their 
condescending (generally) to the lowest and meanest con 
tentments of this life, their exposing of themselves for 

J s h of C the ch " Christ to greater sufferings, and their desiring no civil 
n hu- sword nor arm of flesh, but the two-edged sword of God s 
Spirit to try out the matter by : and then let the inhabi- 

liberty not 1 . 

to be o P - tants of the world jud^e which come nearest to the doc- 

pressed, but 

permitted trine, holiness, poverty, patience, and practice of the Lord 
Jesus Christ ; and whether or no these latter deserve not 
so much of humanity and subjects liberty, as (not offend 
ing the civil state) in the freedom of their souls, to enjoy 
the common air to breathe in, 



Peace. Dear Truth, you have shown me a little draught 
of Zion s sorrows, her children tearing out their mother s 
bowels. Oh ! when will He that stablisheth, comforteth, 
and builds up Zion, look down from heaven, arid have 
mercy on her ? &c. 

Truth. The vision yet doth tarry, saith Habakkuk, but 
will most surely come ; and therefore the patient and be 
lieving must wait for it. 

But to your last proposition, whether the kin^s of Israel Seven roa * 

* sons,proving 

and Judah were not types of civil magistrates ? Now, I 
suppose, by what hath been already spoken, these things 
will be evident : 

First. That those former types of the land, of the people, 

Civil types 

of their worships, were types and figures of a spiritual musfneeds 
land, spiritual people, and spiritual worship under Christ. 
Therefore, consequently, their saviours, redeemers, de- 
liverers, judges, kings, must also have their spiritual anti 
types, and so consequently not civil but spiritual governors 
and rulers, lest the very essential nature of types, figures, 
and shadows be overthrown. 

Secondly. Although the magistrate by a civil sword civil com- 
might well compel that national church to the external 
exercise of their national worship : yet it is not possible, Jjj 
according to the rule of the New Testament, to compel 
whole nations to true repentance and regeneration, with- an, wc 
out which (so far as may be discerned true) the worship national. 
and holy name of God is profaned and blasphemed. 

An arm of flesh and sword of steel cannot reach to cut 
the darkness of the mind, the hardness and unbelief of the 
heart, and kindly operate upon the soul s affections to for- 

* [There are two chapters numbered CXX. in the original copy.] 

the national 

lf r in 


sake a long-continued father s worship, and to embrace a 
new, though the best and truest. This work performs 
alone that sword out of the mouth of Christ, with two 
edges, Rev. i. and iii. 
Neither Thirdly. We have not one tittle, in the New Testament 

Christ Jesus 

^ Christ Jesus, concerning such a parallel, neither from 
himself nor from his ministers, with whom he conversed 

raei a anti- forty days after his resurrection, instructing them in the 

type, but the . 

contrary, matters of his kingdom, Acts i. 3. 

Neither find we any such commission or direction given 
to the civil magistrate to this purpose, nor to the saints 
for their submission in matters spiritual, but the contrary, 
Acts iv. and v. ; 1 Cor. vii. 23 ; Col. ii. 18. 

Fourthly. We have formerly viewed the very matter 
an( l essence of a civil magistrate, and find it the same in 

parts 5 the all parts of the world, wherever people live upon the face 
of the earth, agreeing together in towns, cities, provinces, 
kingdoms : I say the same essentially civil, both from, 
1. The rise and fountain whence it springs, to wit, the 
people s choice and free consent. 2. The object of it, viz,, 
the commonweal, or safety of such a people in their bodies 
and goods, as the authors of this model have themselves 

This civil nature of the magistrate we have proved to 
receive no addition of power from the magistrate bein^ a 

common- _ )1 . . 

weal, nor Christian, no more than it receives diminution from his 

doth want 

no ^ ^ em S a Christian, even as the commonweal is a 
true commonweal, although it have not heard of Chris 
tianity ; and Christianity professed in it, as in Pergamos, 
Ephesus, &c., makes it never no more a commonweal ; and 
Christianity taken away, and the candlestick removed, 
makes it nevertheless a commonweal. 

Fifthly. The Spirit of God expressly relates the work 
of the civil magistrate under the gospel, Rom. xiii., 


expressly mentioning, as the magistrates object, the duties ? ^hTcMi 
of the second table, concerning the bodies and goods of magistl 
the subject. 

2, The reward or wages which people owe for such a 
work, to wit, not the contribution of the church for any 
spiritual work, but tribute, toll, custom, which are wages 
payable by all sorts of men, natives and foreigners, who 
enjoy the same benefit of public peace and commerce in 
the nation. 

Sixthly. Since civil magistrates, whether kings or par- Most 

strange, yet 

liaments, states, and governors, can receive no more in most true 

justice than what the people give : and are, therefore, but 

the eyes, and hands, and instruments of the people, J 

simply considered, without respect to this or that religion ; 

it must inevitably follow, as formerly I have touched, that israei^nd 


if magistrates have received their power from the people, 
then the greatest number of the people of every land has 
received from Christ Jesus a power to establish, correct, 
reform his saints and servants, his wife and spouse, the 
church : and she that by the express word of the Lord, 
Ps. cxlix. 8, binds kings in chains,, and nobles in links of 
iron, must herself be subject to the changeable pleasures 
of the people of the world, which lies in wickedness, 
1 John v. 19, even in matters of heavenly and spiritual 

Hence, therefore, in all controversies concerning the 
church, ministry and worship, the last appeal must come to 
the bar of the people or commonweal, where all may 
personally meet, as in some commonweals of small number, 
or in greater by their representatives. 

Hence, then, no person esteemed a believer, and added if no reli 

gion but 
to the church : " iat which 

the corn- 

No officer chosen and ordained : 

No person cast forth and excommunicated, but as the 


n commonweal and people please ; and in conclusion, no 
2 f johnT ld church of Christ in this land or world, and consequently 
no visible Christ the head of it. Yea, yet higher, con 
sequently no God in the world worshipped according to 
the institutions of Christ Jesus except the several peoples 
of the nations of the world shall give allowance. 

Peace. Dear Truth, oh! whither have our forefathers 
and teachers led us ? Higher than to God himself, by these 
doctrines driven out of the world, you cannot rise: and 
yet so high must the inevitable and undeniable conse 
quences of these their doctrines reach, if men walk by 
their own common principles. 
The true Truth. I may therefore here seasonably add a seventh, 

antitype of J J 

israei i S f wn ich is a necessary consequence of all the former argu 
ments, and an argument itself: viz., we find expressly a 
spiritual power of Christ Jesus in the hands of his saints, 
ministers, and churches, to be the true antitype of those 
former figures in all the prophecies concerning Christ s 
spiritual power, Isa. ix., Dan. vii., Mich, iv., &c., com 
pared with Luke i. 32, Acts ii. 30, 1 Cor. v., Matt, xviii., 
Mark xiii. 34, &c. 


Peace. Glorious and conquering Truth, methinks I see 
most evidently thy glorious conquests : how mighty are 
thy spiritual weapons, 2 Cor. x. 4, to break down those 
mighty arid strong holds and castles, which men have 
fortified themselves withal against thee ? Oh ! that even 
the thoughts of men may submit and bow down to the 
captivity of Jesus Christ ! 

A fourth dif- Truth. Your kind encouragement makes me proceed 
more cheerfully to a fourth difference from the laws and 


statutes of this land, different from all the laws and statutes statutes 

from, 3.11 

of the world, and paralleled only by the laws and ordi- others. 
nances of spiritual Israel. 

First, then, consider we the law-maker, or rather the Moses a 

type of 

law- publisher, or prophet, as Moses calls himself, Deut. Christ - 
xviii. [15,] and Acts iii. [22,] he is expressly called that 
prophet who figured out Christ Jesus who was to come 
like unto Moses, greater than Moses, as the son is greater 
than the servant. 

Such lawgivers, or law-publishers, never had any state 
or people as Moses the type, or Christ Jesus, miraculously 
stirred up and sent as the mouth of God between God and 
his people. 

Secondly, concerning the laws themselves : it is true, The laws of 
the second table contains the law of nature, the law moral S353icL np *" 
and civil, yet such a law was also given to this people as 
never to any people in the world : such was the law of 
worship, Ps. cxlvii., peculiarly given to Jacob, and God 
did not deal so with other nations: which laws for the 
matter of the worship in all those wonderful significant 
sacrifices, and for the manner by such a priesthood, such a 
place of tabernacle, and afterward of temple, such times 
and solemnities of festivals, were never to be paralleled by 
any other nation, but only by the true Christian Israel 
established by Jesus Christ amongst Jews and Gentiles 
throughout the world. 

Thirdly, the law of the ten words, Deut. x., the epitome God s own 
of all the rest, it pleased the most high God to frame and ned laws for 


pen twice, with his own most holy and dreadful finger, 
upon Mount Sinai, which he never did to any other nation 
before or since, but only to that spiritual Israel, the people 
and the church of God, in whose hearts of flesh he writes 
his laws, according to Jer. xxxi., Heb. viii. and x. 

x 2 


Peace. Such promulgation of such laws, by such a pro 
phet, must needs be matchless and unparalleled. 

f Fi rence if " Truth. In the fifth place, consider we the punishments 
and rewards annexed to the breach or observation of these 

prosperity First, those which were of a temporal and present con- 
sideration of this life : blessings and curses of all sorts 
opened at large, Lev. xxvi. and Deut. xxviii., which can- 

, . -, . 

not possibly be made good in any state, country, or king 
dom, but in a spiritual sense in the church and kingdom of 

The spiritual The reason is this : such a temporal prosperity of out- 
prosperity of % . . 

now S t P he ple war( ^ P eace an d plenty of all things, of increase of children, 

of the Jews. 

antitype. Q f ^ft^ o f honour, of health, of success, of victory, suits 
not temporally with the afflicted and persecuted estate of 
God s people now: and therefore spiritual and soul-bles 
sedness must be the antitype, viz., in the midst of revil- 
ings, and all manner of evil speeches for Christ s sake, 
soul-blessedness. In the midst of afflictions and persecu 
tions, soul -blessedness, Matt. v. and Luke vi. And yet 
herein the Israel of God should enjoy their spiritual peace, 
Gal. vi. 16. 

what is- Out of that blessed temporal estate to be cast, or carried 

rael s ex- 

communica- captive, was their excommunication or casting out of 
God s sight, 2 Kings xvii. 23. Therefore was the blas 
phemer, the false prophet, the idolater, to be cast out or 
cut off from this holy land : which punishment cannot be 
paralleled by the punishment of any state or kingdom in 
the world, but only by the excommunicating or out-casting 
of person or church from the fellowship of the saints and 
churches of Christ Jesus in the gospel. 

The corporal And therefore, as before I have noted, the putting away 

stoning in ..." 

typed lut f tlie ^ se P r P net J by stoning him to death, Deut. xiu., 
spiritual ig ft t ] v answere d, and that in the very same words, in the 


antitype : when, by the general consent or stoning of the 
whole assembly, any wicked person is put away from 
amongst them, that is, spiritually cut off out of the land 
of the spiritually living, the people or church of God, 
1 Cor. v., Gal. v. 

Lastly, the great and high reward or punishment of the 
keeping or breach of these laws to Israel, was such as 
cannot suit with any state or kingdom in the world beside, be 

The reward of the observation was life, eternal life. The 
breach of any one of these laws was death, eternal death, 
or damnation from the presence of the Lord. So Rom. x., 
James ii. Such a covenant God made not before nor 
since with any state or people in the world. For, Christ 
is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that 
believeth, Rom. x. 4. And., he that believeth in that Son of 
God, hath eternal life ; lie that believeth not liath not life, but 
is condemned already, John iii. and 1 John v. 


Peace. Dear Truth, you have most lively set forth the The wars 
unparalleled state of that typical land and people of the typical. 
Jews in their peace and quiet government: let me now 
request you, in the last place, to glance at the difference of 
the wars of this people from the wars of other nations, 
and of their having no antitype but the churches of Christ 

[Truth. ] First, all nations round about Israel, more or 
less, some time or other, had indignation against this people 
Egyptians, Edomites, Moabites, Ammonites, Midians, Israel s ene 

* / L mies round 

Philistines, Assyrians, and Babylonians, &c., as appears about - 
in the history of Moses, Samuel, Judges, and Kings, and 


in all the prophets : you have an express catalogue of 
them. Ps. Ixxxiii., sometimes many hundred thousand 
enemies in pitched field against them : of Ethiopians ten 
hundred thousand at once in the days of Asa, 2 Chron. 
xiv. [9,] and at other times as the sand upon the sea 
The enemies Such enemies the Lord Jesus foretold his Israel, The 

of mystical 

Israel. world shall hate JQU) j ohn xy ^ 19> j Y ou shall be 
hated of all men for my name s sake, Matt. xxiv. [9.] All 
that will live godly in Christ Jesus must be persecuted, or 
hunted, 2 Tim. iii. [12.] And not only by flesh and 
blood, but also by principalities, powers, spiritual wicked 
ness in high places, Eph. vi. [12,] by the whole pagan 
world under the Roman emperors, and the whole anti- 
christian world under the Roman popes, Rev. xii. and xiii., 
by the kings of the earth, Rev. xvii. And Gog and 
Magog, like the sand upon the shore, (Rev. xx.) 

Peace. Such enemies, such armies, no history, no ex 
perience proves ever to have come against one poor nation 
as against Israel in the type ; and never was nor shall be 
known to come against any state or country now, but the 
Israel of God, the spiritual Jews, Christ s true followers 
in all parts and quarters of the world. 

\_Truth.~\ Beside all these without, Israel is betrayed 
within her own bowels: bloody Sauls, Absaloms, Shebas, 
Adonijahs, Jeroboams, Athaliahs, raising insurrections, 
conspiracies, tumults, in the antitype and parallel, the 
spiritual state of the Christian church. 

Secondly, consider we the famous and wonderful battles, 
victories, captivities, deliverances, which it pleased the 
God of Israel to dispense to that people and nation, and let 
us search if they can be paralleled by any state or people, 
but mystically and spiritually the true Christian Israel of 
God, Gal. vi. 16. 


How famous was the bondage and slavery of that people t 
and nation 430 years in the land of Egypt, and as famous, ? Jew* 
glorious, and miraculous was their return through the 
Red Sea, a figure of baptism, 1 Cor. x. [2,] and Egypt a 
figure of an Egypt now. Rev. xi. 8. 

How famous was the seventy years captivity of the 
Jews in Babel, transported from the land of Canaan, and 
at the full period returned again to Jerusalem, a type of 
the captivity of God s people now, spiritually captivated in 
spiritual Babel, Rev. xviii. 4. 

Time would fail me to speak of Joshua s conquest of Their won 
derful victo- 

literal Canaan, the slaughter of thirty-one kings, of the rics - 
miraculous taking of Jericho and other cities: Gideon s 
miraculous battle against the Midianites: Jonathan and 
his armour-bearer against the Philistines: David, by his 
five smooth stones against Goliah: Asa, Jehoshaphat, 
Hezekiah, their mighty and miraculous victories against 
so many hundred thousand enemies, and that sometimes 
without a blow given. 

What state, what kingdom, what wars and combats, 
victories and deliverances, can parallel this people, but the 
spiritual and mystical Israel of God in every nation and 
country of the world, typed out by that small typical 
handful, in that little spot of ground, the land of Canaan ? 

The Israel of God now, men and women, fight under The mystical 

battles of 

the great Lord General, the Lord Jesus Christ : their ^ s lsrael 
weapons, armour, and artillery, are like themselves, spi 
ritual, set forth from top to toe, Eph. vi. ; so mighty 
and so potent that they break down the strongest holds 
and castles, yea, in the very souls of men, and carry into 
captivity the very thoughts of men, subjecting them to 
Christ Jesus. They are spiritual conquerors, as in all the 
seven churches of Asia, He that overcometh : He that ovcr- 
comcth, Rev. ii. and iii. 


Their victories and conquests in this country are con 
trary to those of this world, for when they are slain and 
slaughtered, yet then they conquer. So overcame they 
the devil in the Roman emperors, Rev. xii. [11,] By the 
blood of the Lamb : 2. By the word of their testimony : 
3. The cheerful spilling of their own blood for Christ; 
for they loved not their lives unto the death : and in all this 
they are more than conquerors through him that loved them, 
Rom. viii. 37. 

Im m of Stical ^* s gl r i us army of white troopers, horses and har- 
~ ness Christ Jesus and his true Israel, Rev. xix. 
gloriously conquer and overcome the beast, the false 
prophet, and the kings of the earth, up in arms against 
them, Rev. xix.; and, lastly, reigning with Christ a 
thousand years, they conquer the devil himself, and the 
numberless armies, like the sand on the sea shore, of Gog 
and Magog : and yet not a tittle of mention of any sword, 
helmet, breastplate, shield, or horse, but what is spiritual 
and of a heavenly nature. All which wars of Israel have 
been, may be, and shall be fulfilled mystically and spi 

I could further insist on other particulars of Israel s 
unparalleled state, and might display those excellent 
passages which it pleaseth God to mention, Neh. ix. 


Peace. You have, dear Truth, as in a glass, presented 
the face of old and new Israel, and as in water face 
answereth to face, so doth the face of typical Israel to the 
face of the antitype, between whom, and not between 
Canaan and the civil nations and countries of the world 


now, there is an admirable consent and harmony. But I 
have heard some say, was not the civil state and judicials 
of that people precedential ? 

Truth. I have in part, and might further discover, that 
from the king and his throne to the very beasts, yea, [to] the 
excrements of their bodies (as we see in their going to 
war, Deut. xxiii. 12,) their civils, morals, and naturals were 
carried on in types ; and however I acknowledge that 
what was simply moral, civil, and natural in Israel s state, 
in their constitutions, laws, punishments, may be imitated 
and followed by the states, countries, cities, and kingdoms 
of the world: yet who can question the lawfulness of 
other forms of government, laws, and punishments which 
differ, since civil constitutions are men s ordinances (or 
creation, 2 Pet. ii. 13), unto which God s people are com 
manded even for the Lord s sake to submit themselves, 
which if they were unlawful they ought not to do ? 

Peace. Having thus far proceeded in examining whether 
God hath charged the civil state with the establishing of 

O O 

the spiritual and religious, what conceive you of that next 
assertion, viz., "It is well known that the remissness of 
princes in Christendom in matters of religion and worship, 
devolving the care thereof only to the clergy, and so setting 
their horns upon the church s head, hath been the cause of 
anti-christian invention, usurpation, and corruption in the 
worship and temple of God." 

Truth. It is lamentably come to pass by God s just 
permission, Satan s policy, the people s sin, the malice of 
the wicked against Christ, and the corruption of princes 
and magistrates, that so many inventions, usurpations, and 
corruptions are risen in the worship and temple of God, 
throughout that part of the world which is called Chris 
tian, and may most properly be called the pope s Christen- The true 
dom in opposition to Christ Jesus s true Christian com- Jom. sten 


monweal, or church, the true Christendom; but that this 
hath arisen from princes remissness in not keeping their 
watch to establish the purity of religion,, doctrine, and 
worship, and to punish, according to Israel s pattern, all 
false ministers, by rooting them and their worships out of 
the world, that, I say, can never be evinced; and the 
many thousands of glorious souls under the altar whose 
blood hath been spilt by this position, and the many 
hundred thousand souls, driven out of their bodies by civil 
wars, and the many millions of souls forced to hypocrisy 
and ruin eternal, by enforced uniformities in worship, will 
to all eternity proclaim the contrary. 

faithfulness Indeed, it shows a most injurious idleness and unfaith- 
S Sit the fulness in such as profess to be messengers of Christ Jesus, 
denofjudg- to cast the heaviest weight of their care upon the kings 

ing and es 

tablishing a nd rulers 01 the earth, yea, upon the very commonweals, 
thTcomZn 11 - kdies of people, that is, the world itself, who have funda- 
SSt r * orid mentally in themselves the root of power, to set up what 

government and governors they shall agree upon. 

Secondly, it shows abundance of carnal diffidence and 

distrust of the glorious power and gracious presence of the 

Lord Jesus, who hath given his promise and word to be 

with such his messengers to the end of the world, Matt. 

xxviii. 20. 

That dog that fears to meet a man in the path, runs on 

with boldness at his master s coining and presence at his 


TO govern Thirdly, what imprudence and indiscretion is it in the 
in civil most common affairs of life, to conceive that emperors, 

affairs load 

fhecfvii n king 8 ? and rulers of the earth, must not only be qualified 

magistrate. ^.^ political and state abilities to make and execute such 

civil laws which may concern the common rights, peace, 
and safety, which is work and business, load and burden 
enough for the ablest shoulders in the commonweal ; but 


also furnished with such spiritual and heavenly abilities to 
govern the spiritual and Christian commonweal, the flock 
and church of Christ, to pull down, and set up religion, to 
judge, determine, and punish in spiritual controversies, 
even to death or banishment. And, beside, that not only 
the several sorts of civil officers, which the people shall 
choose and set up, must be so authorized, but that all re 
spective commonweals or bodies of people are charged 
(much more) by God with this work and business, 
radically and fundamentally, because all true civil magis- 
trates, have not the least inch of civil power, but what is more^oVer 
measured out to them from the free consent of the whole : common 
even as a committee of parliament cannot further act than the people 

shall betrust 

the power of the house shall arm and enable them. them with. 

Concerning that objection which may arise from the Thousands 
kings of Israel and Judah, who were born members of magistrates, 

who never 

God s church, and trained up therein all their days, which ^ ear [ ih * 

J s true church 

thousands of lawful magistrates in the world, possibly born of God> 
and bred in false worships, pagan or anti-christian, never 
heard of, and were therein types of the great anointed, the 
King of Israel, I have spoken sufficiently to such as have 
an ear to hear : and therefore, 

Lastly, so unsuitable is the commixing and entangling 
of the civil with the spiritual charge and government, that The gpiri . 
(except it was for subsistence, as we see in Paul and 1 

T-> -i t i i\i-r -IT n e ma- 

Barnabas working with their own hands) the Lord Jesus, nagedbyone 

and the 

and his apostles, kept themselves to one. If ever any in ^ame pe r- 
this world was able to manage both the spiritual and civil, 
church and commonweal, it was the Lord Jesus, wisdom 
itself: yea, he was the true heir to the crown of Israel, 
being the son of David : yet being sought for by the 
people to be made a king, John vi. [15,] he refused, and The Lord 
would not give a precedent to any king, prince, or ruler, faSito 
to manage both swords, and to assume the charge of both both. 



Now concerning princes, I desire it may be remembered, 
who were most injurious and dangerous to Christianity, 
whether Nero, Domitian, Julian, &c., persecutors: or 
Constantine, Theodosius, &c., who assumed this power and 
authority in and over the church in spiritual things. It 
is confessed by the answerer and others of note, that under 
these latter, the church, the Christian state, religion, and 
worship, were most corrupted : under Constantine, Chris 
tians fell asleep on the beds of carnal ease and liberty ; 
insomuch that some apply to his times that sleep of the 
church, Cant. v. 2, / sleep, though mine heart waketh." 

Who force 
the con 
sciences of 


Peace. Yea; but some will say, this was not through 
their assuming of this power, but the ill-managing of it. 

Truth. Yet are they commonly brought as the great 
precedents for all succeeding princes and rulers in after 
ages: and in this very controversy, their practices are 
brought as precedential to establish persecution for con 


Secondly, those emperors and other princes and magis 
trates acted in religion according to their consciences per 
suasion, and beyond the light and persuasion of conscience 
can no man living walk in any fear of God. Hence have 
they forced their subjects to uniformity and conformity 
. unto their own consciences, whatever they were, though 
not willing to have been forced themselves in the matters 
of God and conscience. 

2 Nero and the persecuting em 
perors were not so injurious to Chris 
tianity, as Constantine and others who 
assumed a power in spiritual things. 

Under Constantine Christianity fell 
into corruption, and Christians fell 


Thirdly, had not the light of their eye of conscience, 
and the consciences also of their teachers, been darkened, 
they could not have been condemned for want of heavenly information 
affection, rare devotion, wonderful care and diligence, pro- science. 
pounding to themselves the best patterns of the kings of 
Judah, David, Solomon, Asa, Jehoshaphat, Josiah, Heze- 
kiah. But here they lost the path, and themselves, in 
persuading themselves to be the parallels and antitypes to 
those figurative and typical princes : whence they con 
ceived themselves bound to make their cities, kingdoms, 
empires, new holy lands of Canaan, and themselves 
governors and judges in spiritual causes, compelling all 
consciences to Christ, and persecuting the contrary with 
fire and sword. 

Upon these roots, how was, how is it possible, but that sad conse 
quences of 
such bitter fruits should grow of corruption of Chris- char e in g the 

civil powers 

tianity, persecution of such godly who happily see more ^o? 6 
of Christ than such rulers themselves : their dominions spintuals - 
and jurisdictions being overwhelmed with enforced dis 
simulation and hypocrisy, and (where power of resistance) 
with flames of civil combustion : as at this very day, he 
that runs may read and tremble at ? 

Peace. They add further, that the princes of Chris 
tendom setting their horns upon the church s head, have 
been the cause of anti-christian inventions, &c. 

Truth. If they mean that the princes of Europe, giving clvil rulers 

, . i & g ivin g anrf 

their power and authority to the seven-headed and ten- lending their 

horns or au- 

horned beast of Rome, have been the cause, &c., I confess 
it to be one concurring cause : yet withal it must be re- 
membered, that even before such princes set their horns, 
or authority, upon the beast s head, even when they did, 
as I may say, but lend their horns to the bishops, even 
then rose up many anti-christian abominations. And 
though I confess there is but small difference, in some 

truth of 


respects, between the setting their horns upon the priests 
heads, whereby they are enabled immediately to push and 
gore whoever cross their doctrine and practice, and the 
lending of their horns, that is, pushing and goring such 
themselves, as are declared by their bishops and priests to 
be heretical, as was and is practised in some countries 
before and since the pope rose : yet I confidently affirm, 
that neither the Lord Jesus nor his first ordained ministers 
and churches (gathered by such ministers), did ever wear, 
or crave the help of such horns in spiritual and Christian 
affairs. The spiritual power of the Lord Jesus in the 
hands of his true ministers and churches, according to 
ThespM- Balaam s prophecy, Num. xxiii., is the horn of that 

tual power of .. 

the Lord unicorn, or rhinoceros, Ps. xcii. [10,1 which is the 

Jesus com- 

strongest horn in the world : in comparison of which the 


parable " 1 " strongest horns of the bulls of Bashan break as sticks and 

rhinoceros 6 reeds. History tells us how that unicorn, or one-horned 

beast the rhinoceros, took up a bull like a tennis ball, in 

the theatre at Rome, before the emperor, according to that 

record of the poet : 3 

Quantus erat cornu cui pila taurus erat ! 

Unto this spiritual power of the Lord Jesus, the souls 
and thoughts of the highest kings and emperors must 
[be] subject, Matt. xvi. and xviii., 1 Cor. v. and x. 


Peace. Dear Truth, you know the noise is made from 
those prophecies, Isaiah xlix. 23, kings and queens shall be 

3 [Martial, De Spectaculis Libellua, Ep. ix.] 


nursing fathers, &c., and Rev. xxi. 24, the kings of the 
earth shall bring their glory and honour to the new 
Jerusalem, &c, 

Truth. I answer with that mournful prophet, Ps. Ixxiv., A u tim !, , 

when God a 

I see not that man, that prophet, that can tell us how 
long. How many excellent penmen fight each against 
other with, their pens (like swords) in the application of * 
those prophecies of David, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, 
Daniel, Zechariah, John, when and how those prophecies 
shall be fulfilled ! 

Secondly, whenever those prophecies are fulfilled, yet Nursing fa- 

there and 

shall those kings not be heads, governors, and judges in mothers. 
ecclesiastical or spiritual causes ; but be themselves judged 
and ruled, if within the church, by the power of the Lord 
Jesus therein. Hence saith Isaiah, those kings and queens 
shall lick the dust of thy feet, &c. 

Peace. Some will here ask, What may the magistrate 
then lawfully do with his civil horn, or power, in matters 
of religion ? 

Truth. His horn not being the horn of that unicorn, or The 
rhinoceros, the power of the Lord Jesus in spiritual 
cases : his sword not the two-edged sword of the Spirit, 

the word of God, hanging not about the loins or side, but be Ta u< 

IT T PI 1 P 1 numan P e " 

at the lips, and proceeding out or the mouth or his ration. 
ministers, but of a human and civil nature and constitution ; 
it must consequently be of a human and civil operation : 
for who knows not that operation follows constitution? 
and therefore I shall end this passage with this con 
sideration : 

The civil magistrate either respecteth that religion and The civil 

, . iii- power owes 

worship which his conscience is persuaded is true, and three thi g9 

1 < to the true 

upon which he ventures his soul : or else that and those 
which he is persuaded are false. 

Concerning the first ; if that which the magistrate 


believeth to be true, be true, I say he owes a threefold 
duty unto it : 

1. Approba- First, Approbation and countenance, a reverent esteem 

and honourable testimony, according to Isaiah xlix., Rev. 
xxi., with a tender respect of truth, and the professors of 

2. submis- Secondly, Personal submission of his own soul to the 

power of the Lord Jesus in that spiritual government and 
kingdom, according to Matt, xviii., 1 Cor. v. 

3. protect- Thirdly, Protection of such true professors of Christ, 

whether apart, or met together, as also of their estates 
from violence and injury, according to Rom. xiii. 
The civil Now secondly, if it be a false religion, unto which the 

magistrate J 

worship? 186 C * V ^ ma gi stra te dare not adjoin : yet, he owes, 

pers. First, Permission, for approbation he owes not to what 

1. Permis 
sion. i s ev il ? an( } this according to Matt. xiii. 30, for public 

peace and quiet s sake. 

2. Protec- Secondly, he owes protection to the persons of his 

subjects, though of a false worship, that no injury be 
oifered either to the persons or goods of any, Rom. xiii. 

Peace. Dear Truth, in this eleventh head concerning 
the magistrates power in worship, you have examined 
what is affirmed the magistrate may do in point of worship ; 
there remains a second, to wit, that which they say the 
magistrate may not do in worship. 

They say, " The magistrate may not bring in set forms 
of prayer : nor secondly, bring in significant ceremonies : 
nor thirdly, not govern and rule the acts of worship in 
the church of God ;" for which they bring an excellent 
similitude of a prince or magistrate in a ship, where he 
hath no governing power over the actions of the mariners: 
and secondly, that excellent prophecy concerning Christ 
Jesus, that his government should be upon his shoulders, 
Isa. ix. 6, 7. 


Truth. Unto all this I willingly subscribe: yet can I not 

... , . n magistrate s 

pass by a most injurious and unequal practice toward the conscience 
civil magistrate : ceremonies, holy days, common prayer, 

and whatever else dislikes their consciences, that the coJtr 
magistrate must not bring in. Others again, as learned, as eVe^/The* 
godly, as wise, have conceived the magistrate may approve reformers., 
or permit these in the church, and all men are bound in 
obedience to obey him. How shall the magistrate s con 
science be herein (between both) torn and distracted, if 
indeed the power either of establishing or abolishing in 
church matters be committed to him ! 

Secondly, methinks in this case they deal with the civil The authors 
magistrate as the soldiers dealt with the Lord Jesus : sitions deal 

with the 

First, they take off his own clothes, and put upon him a civil m ^[ s - 

* trate as the 

purple robe, plat a crown of thorns on his head, bow 
the knee, and salute him by the name of King of the 

They tell him that he is the keeper of both tables, he 
must see the church do her duty, he must establish the 
true church, true ministry, true ordinances, he must keep 
her in this purity. Again, he must abolish superstition, 
and punish false churches, false ministers, even to banish 
ment and death. 

Thus indeed do they make the blood run down the head The rise of 
of the civil magistrate, from the thorny vexation of that missions. 
power which sometimes they crown him with ; whence in 
great states, kingdoms, or monarchies, necessarily arise 
delegations of that spiritual power, high commissions, &c. 

Anon again they take off this purple robe, put him into Pious ma- 

his own clothes, and tell him that he hath no power to and minis- 

ters* con- 

command what is against their conscience. They cannot 
conform to a set form of prayer, nor to ceremonies, nor ^h 
holy days, &c., although the civil magistrate (that most 

pious prince, Edw. VI., and his famous bishops, afterwards 


burnt for Christ) were of another conscience. Which of 
these two consciences shall stand? if either, [the] magis 
trate must put forth his civil power in these cases: the 
strongest arm of flesh, and most conquering, bloody sword 
of steel can alone decide the question. 

TO profess I confess it is most true, that no magistrate, as no other 
trate must superior, is to be obeyed in any matter displeasing to God : 
he?d C uty vet > when in matters of worship we ascribe the absolute 
not [udge ust headship and government to the magistrate, as to keep 
whatisV 8 the church pure, and force her to her duty, ministers and 

but to play 

in spiritual people, and yet take unto ourselves power to judge what 
is right in our own eyes, and to judge the magistrate in 
and for those very things wherein we confess he hath 
power to see us do our duty, and therefore consequently 
must judge what our duty is : what is this but to play 
with magistrates, with the souls of men, with heaven, with 
God, with Christ Jesus ? &c. 


Peace. Pass on, holy Truth, to that similitude whereby 
m"iuude S dis- they illustrate that negative assertion : " The prince in 
cemingthe the ship," say they, "is governor over the bodies of all in 

civil magis 
trate, the ship ; but he hath no power to govern the ship or the 

mariners in the actions of it. If the pilot manifestly err 
in his action, the prince may reprove him," and so, say 
they, may any passenger ; " if he offend against the life or 
goods of any, the prince may in due time and place punish 
him, which no private person may." 

Truth. Although, dear Peace, we both agree that civil 
powers may not enjoin such devices, no nor enforce on 
any God s institutions, since Christ Jesus s coming: yet, 


for further illustration, I shall propose some queries con* 
cerning the civil magistrate s passing in the ship of the 
church, wherein Christ Jesus hath appointed his ministers 
and officers as governors and pilots, &c. 

If in a ship at sea, wherein the governor or pilot of a First query: 

. . . what if the 

ship undertakes to carry the ship to such a port, the civil P ri ce com- 

1 m / r mand the 

magistrate (suppose a king or emperor) shall command the f s t te t r or 
master such and such a course, to steer upon such or courel, uch a 
such a point, which the master knows is not their course, know win 
and which if they steer he shall never bring; the ship to them to the 


that port or harbour: what shall the master do? Surely 
all men will say, the master of the ship or pilot is to pre 
sent reasons and arguments from his mariner s art, if the 
prince be capable of them, or else in humble and submis 
sive manner to persuade the prince not to interrupt them 
in their course and duty properly belonging to them, to 
wit, governing of the ship, steering of the course, &c. 

If the master of the ship command the mariners thus 2. Query, if 
and thus, in cunning the ship, managing the helm, trim- of the ship 

i 11 command 

mine; the sail, and the prince command the mariners a the mariners 

thus, and 

different or contrary course, who is to be obeyed ? 

It is confessed that the mariners may lawfully disobey 
the prince, and obey the governor of the ship in the e>e 
actions of the ship. 

Thirdly, what if the prince have as much skill, which is 3. if the 

prince have 

rare, as the pilot himself? I conceive it will be answered, 

that the master of the ship and pilot, in what concerns the &* or pilot) 

ship, are chief and above, in respect of their office, the 

prince himself, and their commands ought to be attended 

by all the mariners : unless it be in .manifest error, wherein 

it is granted any passenger may reprove the pilot. 

Fourthly, I ask, if the prince and his attendants be f- Q uel 7, 

Whether the 

unskilful in the ship s affairs, whether every sailor and " 
mariner, the youngest and lowest, be not, so far as con- 

Y 2 


n e r t v to e be be cerns tne ship, to be preferred before the prince s follow- 

ers, and the prince himself? and their counsel and advice 
i?? eh l ~ more to be attended to, and their service more to be 
desired and respected, and the prince to be requested to 
stand by and let the business alone in their hands ? 
5. Query. Fifthly, in case a wilful king and his attendants, out of 
opinion of their skill, or wilfulness of passion, would so 
steer the course, trim sail, &c., as that in the judgment of 
the master and seamen the ship and lives shall be endan 
gered : whether, in case humble persuasions prevail not, 
ought not the ship s company to refuse to act in such a 
course, yea, and, in case power be in their hands, resist 
and suppress these dangerous practices of the prince and 
his followers, and so save the ship ? 

Lastly, suppose the master, out of base fear and cowar- 
dice, or covetous desire of reward, shall yield to gratify 

prince to the the mind of the prince, contrary to the rules of art and 
of "the ship experience, &c., and the ship come in danger, and perish, 

and prince, .... 

&c., he be an d the prince with it : if the master get to shore, whether 

not guilty, 

answer 1 ? 6 to mav ne no ^ be j ug tly questioned, yea, and suffer as guilty 
of the prince s death, and those that perished with him ? 
These cases are clear, wherein, according to this similitude, 
the prince ought not to govern and rule the actions of the 
ship, but such whose office, and charge, and skill it is. 

The appuca- The regult o f ^ ig this . the ^^^ o f Christ is the 

ship, wherein the prince if a member, for otherwise the 

the church, ., , . __ .. . _ . 

& c . case is altered is a passenger. In this ship the officers 

and governors, such as are appointed by the Lord Jesus, 

they are the chief, and in those respects above the prince 

himself, and are to be obeyed and submitted to in their 

works and administrations, even before the prince himself. 

chrVSn est * n ^i 8 res P ec t every Christian in the church, man or 

hiskno n w- to woman, if of more knowledge and grace of Christ, ought 

grace to be to be of higher esteem, concerning religion and Christian- 


ity, than all the princes in the world who have either none 
or less grace or knowledge of Christ: although in civil 
things all civil reverence, honour, and obedience ought to orYess grace 

, . , , , , ,, of Christ. 

be yielded by all men. 

Therefore, if in matters of religion the king command A true mi - 

nister of 
Christ ought 
to walk by 
another rule 
than the 
command of 
civil author- 

what is contrary to Christ s rule, though according to his 
persuasion and conscience, who sees not that, according to 
the similitude, he ought not to be obeyed ? Yea, and (in 
case) boldly, with spiritual force and power, he ought to ritual 
be resisted. And if any officer of the church of Christ 
shall out of baseness yield to the command of the prince, 
to the danger of the church and souls committed to his 
charge, the souls that perish, notwithstanding the prince s 
command, shall be laid to his charge. 

If so, then I rejoin thus : how agree these truths of this Former posi- 

.,.-,., . tions com- 

similitude with those former positions, viz., that the civil pared with 

this Bimili- 

magistrate is keeper of both tables, that he is to see the 
church do her duty, that he ought to establish the true 
religion, suppress and punish the false, and so consequently 
must discern, judge, and determine what the true gather 
ing and governing of the church is, what the duty of every 
minister of Christ is, what the true ordinances are, and 
what the true administrations of them ; and where men 
fail, correct, punish, and reform by the civil sword? I 
desire it may be answered, in the fear and presence of Him 
whose eyes are as a flame of fire, if this be not according 
to the similitude, though contrary to their scope in pro 
posing of it to be governor of the ship of the church, to 
see the master, pilot, and mariners do their duty, in setting 
the course, steering the ship, trimming the sails, keeping 
the watch, &c., and where they fail, to punish them ; and 
therefore, by undeniable consequence, to judge and deter 
mine what their duties are, when they do right, and when 
they do wrong: and this not only to manifest error, (for 


then they say every passenger may reprove) but in their 

ordinary course and practice. 

^ e si^ 11 ^ f a physician obeying the prince in the 

body politic, but prescribing to the prince concerning the 
dann cvSi prince s body, wherein the prince, unless the physician 
the physi- manifestly err, is to be obedient to the physician, and not 
magistrate to be judge of the physician in his art, but to be ruled and 


his body, judged as touching the state of his body by the physician : 
I say this similitude and many others suiting with the 
former of a ship, might be alleged to prove the distinction 
of the civil and spiritual estate, and that according to the 
rule of the Lord Jesus in the gospel, the civil magistrate 
is only to attend the calling of the civil magistracy con 
cerning the bodies and goods of the subjects, and is himself, 
if a member of the church and within, subject to the power 
of the Lord Jesus therein, as any member of the church is, 
1 Cor. v. 


Peace. Dear Truth, you have uprightly and aptly untied 
the knots of that eleventh head ; let me present you with 
the twelfth head, which is, 

Concerning the magistrates power in the censures- of 
the church, 

1 " First/ say they, " he hath no power to execute, or to 
aed> substitute any civil officer to execute, any church censure, 
under the notion of civil or ecclesiastical men. 

" Secondly, though a magistrate may immediately civilly 
censure such an offender, whose secret sins are made mani 
fest by their casting out to be injurious to the good of the 
state, yet such offences of excommunicate persons, which 


manifestly hurt not the good of the state, he ought not to 
proceed against them, sooner or later, until the church 
hath made her complaint to him, and given in their just 
reasons for help from them. For to give liberty to magis 
trates, without exception, to punish all excommunicate 
persons within so many months, may prove injurious to 
the person who needs, to the church who may desire, and 
to God who calls for longer indulgence from the hands of 

" Thirdly, for persons not excommunicate, the magis 
trate hath no power immediately to censure such offences 
of the church members by the power of the sword, but 
only for such as do immediately hurt the peace of the 
state : because the proper "end of civil government being 
the preservation of the peace and welfare of the state, 
they ought not to break down those bounds, and so to 
censure immediately for such sins which hurt not their 

" Hence, first, magistrates have no power to censure for 
secret sins, as deadness [or] unbelief, because they are 
secret, and not yet come forth immediately to hurt the 
peace of the state; we say immediately, for every sin, 
even original sin, remotely hurts the civil state. 

" Secondly, hence they have no power to censure for 
such private sins in church members, which being not 
heinous may be best healed in a private way by the 
churches themselves. For that which may be best healed 
by the church, and yet is prosecuted by the state, may 
make a deeper wound and greater rent in the peace both of 
church and state : the magistrates also being members of 
the church, are bound to the rule of Christ, viz., not to 
produce any thing in public against a brother, which may 
be best healed in a private way. 

" Now we call that private, 


" First, which is only remaining in families, not known 
of others : and therefore a magistrate to hear and prosecute 
the complaint of children against their parents, servants 
against masters, wives against their husbands, without ac 
quainting the church first, transgresseth the rule of Christ. 

" Secondly, that which is between members of the same 
church, or of divers churches : for it was a double fault of 
the Corinthians, 1 Cor. vi., first to go to law, secondly, to 
do it before an infidel, seeing the church was able to judge 
of such kind of differences by some arbitrators among 
themselves. So that the magistrates should refer the 
differences of church members to private healing, and try 
that way first : by means whereof the churches should be 
free from much scandal, and the state from much trouble, 
and the hearts of the godly from much grief in beholding 
such breaches. 

" Thirdly, such offences which the conscience of a 
brother dealing with another privately, dares not as yet 
publish openly, coming to the notice of the magistrate 
accidentally, he ought not to make public as yet, nor to 
require the grand jury to present the same, no more than 
the other private brother, who is dealing with him, until 
he see some issue of the private way. 

" Thirdly, hence they have no power to put any to an 
oath, ex officio, to accuse themselves, or the brethren, in 
case either criminis suspecti, or prcEtensi, because this pre 
serves not, but hurts many ways the peace of the state, 
and abuseth the ordinance of an oath, which is ordained to 
end controversies, not to begin them, Heb. vi. 16. 

" Fourthly, hence they have no power to censure any 
for such offences as break either no civil law of God, or 
law of the state published according to it : for the peace of 
the state being preserved by wholesome laws, when they 
are not hurt, the peace is not hurt." 


Truth. In this passage, as I said before, I observe how 
weakly and partially they deal with the souls of magis 
trates, in telling them they are the guardians of both 
tables, must see the church do her duty, punish, &c. ; and 
yet in this passage the elders or ministers of the churches 
not only sit judges over the magistrates actions in church 
affairs, but in civil also, straitening and enlarging his com 
mission according to the particular interests of their own 
ends, or at the best their consciences. 

I grant the word of the Lord is the only rule, light, and TO give the 

i 11 /"^ ~i 111 government 

lantern in all cases concerning (jrocl or man, and that the of the church 

to the civil 

ministers of the gospel are to teach this wav, hold out this magistrate 

J (as before), 

lantern unto the feet of all men ; but to give such an Jjjj|g MS 
absolute power in spiritual things to the civil magistrate, 
and yet after their own ends or consciences to abridge it, 
is but the former sporting with holy things, and to walk 
in contradictions, as before I noted. 

Many of the particulars I acknowledge true, where the 
magistrate is a member of the church ; yet some passages 
call for explication, and some for observation. 

First, in that they say the civil magistrate ought not to 
proceed against the offences of an excommunicate person, 
which manifestly hurt not the good of the state, until the 
church hath made her complaint for help from them, I 
observe two things : 

First, a clear grant that when the church complaineth An evident 


for help, then the magistrate may punish such offences as tion - 
hurt not the good of the state : and yet in a few lines after 
they say, the magistrates have no power to censure such 
offences of church members by the power of the civil 
sword, but only such as do immediately hurt the peace of 
the civil state; and they add the reason, because the 
proper end of the civil government being the preservation ^"Son of 
of the peace and welfare of the state, they ought not to 2 ofcirii 


break down those bounds, and so to censure immediately 
brokeMUi f r su h sms which hurt not their peace. And in the last 

timt e c s fvii place, they acknowledge the magistrate hath no power to 
punish any for any such offences as break no civil law of 
God, or law of the state published according to it : " for 
the peace of the state," say they, "being preserved by 
wholesome laws, when they are not hurt, the peace is not 


Peace. Dear Truth, here are excellent confessions, unto 
which both truth and grace may gladly assent ; but what 
is your second observation from hence ? 

Truth. I observe secondly, what a deep charge of weak- 
ness * s ^ a ^ upon the church of Christ, the laws, govern- 

the K h ing n d f ment, and officers thereof, and consequently upon the 
Lord Jesus himself: to wit, that the church is not enabled 
with all the power of Christ to censure sufficiently an 
offender on whom yet they have executed the deepest 
censure in the world, to wit, cutting off from Christ, 
shutting out of heaven, casting to the devil which 
offender s crime reacheth not to hurt the good of the civil 
state ; but that she is forced to make complaint to the 
civil state, and the officers thereof, for their help. 

Oh ! let not this be told in Gath, nor heard in Askelon ! 
and oh ! how dim must needs that eye be, which is blood 
shot with that bloody and cruel tenent of persecution for 
cause of conscience ! 

Peace. But what should be meant by this passage, viz., 
<: That they cannot give liberty to the magistrate to 


punish without exception all excommunicate persons, 
within so many months ?" 

Truth. It may be this hath reference to a law made , A st r an s T e 

/ law in New 

formerly in New England, that if an excommunicate per- j^ 
son repented not within, as I have heard, three months 

after sentence of excommunication, then the civil magis- ca 
trate might proceed with him. 

These worthy men see cause to question this law upon 
good reasons rendered, though it appears not by their 
words that they wholly condemn it, only they desire a 
longer time, implying that after some longer time the 
magistrate may proceed : and indeed I see not, but accord 
ing to such principles, if the magistrate himself should be 
cast out, he ought to be proceeded against by the civil 
state, and consequently deposed and punished, as the pope trates 
teacheth : yea, though happily [haply ?] he had not offended 
against either bodies or goods of any subject. 

Thirdly, from this confession, that the magistrate ought 
not to punish for many sins above-mentioned, I observe t< J l nf shed b 
how they cross the plea which commonly they bring for Sat 
the magistrates punishing of false doctrines, heretics, &c., 

(viz., Rom. xiii., The magistrate is to punish them that do aiisin,Hom. 
evil) ; and when it is answered, True, evil against the second 
table, which is there only spoken of, and against the 
bodies and goods of the subject, which are the proper ob 
ject of the civil magistrate, as they confess : it is replied, 
Why ? is not idolatry sin ? heresy, sin ? schism and false 
worship, sin ? Yet here in this passage many evils, many 
sins, even of parents against their children, masters against 
their servants, husbands against their wives, the magistrate 
ought not to meddle with. 

Fourthly. I dare not assent to that assertion, " That original sin 

charged to 

. . 

even original [sin] remotely hurts the civil state." It is J^^u 
true some do, as inclinations to murder, theft, whoredom, 


slander, disobedience to parents, and magistrates ; but 
blindness of mind, hardness of heart, inclination to choose 
or worship this or that God, this or that Christ, beside 
the true, these hurt not remotely the civil state, as not 
concerning it, but the spiritual. 

Magistrates Peace. Let me, in the last place, remind you of their 

Sc^n to charge against the magistrate, and which will necessarily 

ompiamts. ton to ^ wron g an <} prejudice : they say, the magistrate, 

in hearing and prosecuting the complaints of children 

against their parents, of servants against their masters, of 

wives against their husbands, without acquainting the 

church first, transgresseth the rule of Christ. 

Truth. Sweet Peace, they that pretend to be thy dearest 
friends, will prove thy bitter enemies. 

First, I ask for one rule out of the Testament of the 
Lord Jesus, to prove this deep charge and accusation 
against the civil magistrate ? 

of h common Secondly, this is built upon a supposition of what rarely 
no e true here ^ a ^ s out m tne world, to wit, that there must necessarily 
be a true church of Christ in every lawful state, unto 
whom these complaints must go: whereas, how many 
thousand commonweals have been and are, where the 
name of Christ hath not (or not truly) been founded ! 

The com- Thirdly, the magistrates office, according to their own 

plaints of ~ . . 

families pro- grant, properly respecting the bodies and goods of their 
nuance*?/ subjects, and the whole body of the commonweal being 
magistrate, made up of families, as the members constituting that body, 
I see not how, according to the rule of Christ, Rom. xiii., 
the magistrate may refuse to hear and help the just com 
plaints of any such petitioners children, wives, and 
servants against oppression, &c. 
They who Peace. I have long observed, that such as have been 

give to .... 

magistrates ready to ascribe to the civil magistrate and his sword more 

more than is > D 

o*t *pt to 

tnan God hath ascribed, have also been most ready to cut 


off the skirts, and, in case of his inclining to another con- |[j 8 J et } e111 
science than their own, to spoil him of the robe of that theirs 
due authority with which it hath pleased God and the 
people to invest and clothe him. 

But I shall now present you with the thirteenth head, 
whose title is, 


What power magistrates have in public assemblies of churches, isth head. 

" First," say they, "the churches have power to assemble 
and continue such assemblies for the performance of all 
God s ordinances, without or against the consent of the 
magistrate, renuente magistratu^ because 

" Christians are commanded so to do, Matt, xxviii. 

" Also, because an angel from God commanded the 
apostles so to do, Acts v. 20. 

" Likewise from the practice of the apostles, who were 
not rebellious or seditious, yet they did so, Acts iv. 18 
20, Acts v. 27, 28. 

" Further, from the practice of the primitive church at 
Jerusalem, who did meet, preach, pray, minister sacra 
ments, censures, Acts iv. 23, renuente magistrate 

" Moreover, from the exhortation to the Hebrews, [chap.] 
x. 25, not to forsake their assemblies, though it were in 
dangerous times; and if they might do this under pro 
fessed enemies, then we may much more under Christian 
magistrates, else we were worse under Christian magis- 


trates than heathen : therefore magistrates may not hinder 
them herein, as Pharaoh did the people from sacrificing, 
for wrath will be upon the realm, and the king and his sons, 
Ezra vii. 23. 

" Secondly, it hath been a usurpation of foreign coun 
tries and magistrates to take upon them to determine times 
and places of worship ; rather let the churches be left 
herein to their inoffensive liberty. 

"Thirdly, concerning the power of synod assemblies: 

" First, in corrupt times, the magistrate, desirous to make 

reformation of religion, may and should call those who are 

most fit in several churches to assemble together in a 


synod, to discuss and declare from the word of God 
matters of doctrine and worship, and to help forward the 
reformation of the churches of God : this did Josiah. 

" Secondly, in the reformed times, he ought to give 
liberty to the elders of several churches to assemble them 
selves by their own manual and voluntary agreement, at 
convenient times, as the means appointed by God whereby 
he may mediately reform matters amiss in churches, which 
immediately he cannot nor ought not to do. 

" Thirdly, those meetings for this end we conceive may 
be of two sorts. 

" 1 . Monthly, of some of the elders and messengers of 
the churches. 

" 2. Annual, of all the messengers and elders of the 

" First. Monthly, of some : first, those members of 
churches which are nearest together, and so may most 
conveniently assemble together, may, by mutual agree 
ment, once in a month, consult of such things as make for 
the good of the churches. 

" Secondly. The time of this meeting may be some 
times at one place, sometimes at another, upon the lecture 


day of every church where lectures are : and let the lec 
ture that day be ended by eleven of the clock. 

"Thirdly. Let the end of this assembly be to do nothing 
by way of authority, but by way of counsel, as the need 
of churches shall require. 

" Secondly, annual, of all the elders within our jurisdic 
tion or others, whereto the churches may send once in the 
year to consult together for the public welfare of all the 

"First. Let the place be sometimes at one church, 
sometimes at another, as reasons for the present may 

"Secondly. Let all the churches send their weighty 
questions and cases, six weeks or a month before the set 
time, to the church where the assembly is to be held, and 
the officers thereof disperse them speedily to all the 
churches, that so they may have time to come prepared to 
the discussing of them. 

" Thirdly. Let this assembly do nothing by authority, 
but only by counsel, in all cases which fall out, leaving 
the determination of all things to particular churches 
within themselves, who are to judge and so to receive all 
doctrines and directions agreeing only with the word of 

The grounds of these assemblies. 

"First. Need of each other s help, in regard of daily 
emergent troubles, doubts, and controversies. 

" Secondly. Love of each other s fellowship. 

"Thirdly. Of God s glory, out of a public spirit to 
seek the welfare of the churches, as well as their own, 1 
Cor. x. 33, 2 Cor. xi. 28. 

" Fourthly. The great blessing and special presence of 
God upon such assemblies hitherto. 


* c Fifthly. The good report the elders and brethren of 
churches shall have hereby, by whose communion of love 
others shall know they are the disciples of Christ." 


A strange Truth. I may well compare this passage to a double 

ture> picture ; on the first part or side of it a most fair and 

beautiful countenance of the pure and holy word of God : 

on the latter side or part, a most sour and uncomely, de 

formed look of a mere human invention. 

The great Concerning the former, they prove the true and un- 

privileges of . . 

B^tf 6 questionable power and privilege of the churches of 

Chris?. f Christ to assemble and practise all the holy ordinances of 
God, without or against the consent of the magistrate. 

Their arguments from Christ s and the angels voice, 
from the apostles and churches practice, I desire may 
take deep impression, written by the point of a diamond, 
the finger of God s Spirit, in all hearts whom it may 

This liberty of the churches of Christ, he enlargeth 
and amplifieth so far, that he calls it a usurpation of 
some magistrates to determine the time and place of wor 
ship : and says, that rather the churches should be left to 
their inoffensive liberty. 

TO hold with Upon which grant I must renew my former query, 
whether this be not to walk in contradictions, to hold with 
light yet walk in darkness ? for, 

How can they say the magistrate is appointed by God 

chief gOTer- ^ n ^ Christ the guardian of the Christian church and wor- 

Pa bound to set up the true church, ministry, and ordi- 
down a not to nances, to see the church do her duty, that is, to force her 


to it by the civil sword : bound to suppress the false 
church, ministry, and ordinances, and therefore, conse- 
quently, to judge and determine which is the true church, m 
which is the false, and what is the duty of the church 
officers and members of it, and what not : and yet, say 
they, the churches must assemble, and practise all ordinances, 
without his consent, yea, against it. Yea, and he hath 
not so much power as to judge what is a convenient time 
and place for the churches to assemble in ; which if he 
should do, he should be a usurper, and should abridge the 
church of her inoffensive liberty. 

As if the master or governor of a ship had power to T > simili 

tudes, illus- 

judge who were true and fit officers, mariners, &c., for the JJ^ 
managing of the ship, and were bound to see them each tothgover- 
perform his duty, and to force them thereunto, and yet he church, and 
should be a usurper if he should abridge them of meeting incommand- 
and managing the vessel at their pleasure, when they 
please, and how they please, without and against his con 
sent. Certainly, if a physician have power to judge the 
disease of his patient, and what course of physic he must 
use, can he be counted a usurper unless the patient might 
take what physic himself pleased, day or night, summer or 
winter, at home in his chamber or abroad in the air ? 

Secondly, by their grant in this passage, that God s If a clmrch 
people may thus assemble and practise ordinances without 

, . and against 

and against the consent of the magistrate, I infer, then the magis 

trate s con- 

come a 

also may they become a church, constitute and gather 
without or against the consent of the magistrate. There- 
fore may the messengers of Christ preach and baptize, that be d 
is, make disciples and wash them into the true profession 
of Christianity, according to the commission, though the 
magistrate determine and publicly declare such ministers, 
such baptisms, such churches to be heretical. 

Thirdly, it may here be questioned, what power is now 



given to the civil magistrate in church matters and spiritual 
affairs ? 

If it be answered, that although God s people may do 
this against the magistrates consent, yet others may not : 
Gross ar -^ answer > as before, who sees not herein partiality to 
tiaiity. themselves? God s people must enjoy their liberty of 
conscience, and not be forced; but all the subjects in a 
kingdom or monarchy, or the whole world beside, must be 
compelled by the power of the civil sword to assemble 
thus and thus. 

Secondly, I demand, who shall judge whether they are 
God s people or no ? for they say, whether the magistrate 
consent or consent not, that is, judge so or not, they ought 
to go on in the ordinances, renuente magistratu. 
if the civil How agrees this with their former and general assertion, 

be to buil 
the spiritual 

be to build that the civil magistrate must set up the Christian church 

an( ^ worship ? Therefore, by their own grant, he must 
mu*tjudge j u( jge the godly themselves, he must discern who are fit 

matter for the house of God, living stones, and what unfit 

matter, trash and rubbish. 
A dose and Those worthy men, the authors of these positions, and 

faithful in- J . . 

to r thfcon- others of their judgment, have cause to examine their souls 
with fear and trembling in the presence of God upon this 
interrogatory, viz., whether or no this be not the bottom 
and root of the matter: if they could have the same 
supply of maintenance without the help of the civil sword, 
or were persuaded to live upon the voluntary contribution 
of poor saints, or their own labour, as the Lord Jesus and 
his first messengers did: I say, if this lay not in the 
bottom, whether or no they could not be willingly shut of 
the civil power, and left only to their inoffensive liberties ? 
cou ^ a l so put a sad query to the consciences of some, 

pr a ct?c 8 e! heir viz., what should be the reason why in their native country, 
where the magistrate consenteth not, they forebore to 


practise such ordinances as now they do, and intended to 
do so soon as they got into another place where they 
might set up magistrates of their own, and a civil sword ? 
&c. How much is it to be feared, that in case their 
magistrate should alter, or their persons be cast under a 
magistracy prohibiting their practice, whether they would 
then maintain their separate meetings without and against 
the consent of the magistrate, renuente magistratu. 

Lastly, it may be questioned, how it comes to pass that A marvel- 
in pleading for the church s liberty more now under the len s e of 

more liberty 

Christian magistrate, since the Christians took that liberty 

in dangerous times under the heathen, why he quotes to 
prove such liberty, Pharaoh s hindering the Israelites the heathen. 
from worship, and, Ezra vii. 23, Artaxerxes s fear of wrath 
upon the realm ? 

Are not all their hopes and arguments built upon the 
Christian magistrate, whom, say they, the first Christians 
wanted? and yet do they scare the Christian magistrate, 
whom they account the governor of the church, with 
Pharaoh and Artaxerxes, that knew not God, expecting 
that the Christian magistrate should act and command no 
more in God s worship than they. 

But what can those instances of Pharaoh s evil in hin 
dering the Israelites worshipping of God, and Artaxerxes 
giving liberty to Israel to worship God and build the 
temple, what can they prove but a duty in all princes and 
civil magistrates to take off the yoke of bondage, which 
commonly they lay on the necks of the souls of their 
subjects in matters of conscience and religion ? 

2 2 



if the ma- Peace. It is plausible, but not reasonable, that God s 
W d b P e pl e should (considering the drift of these positions) 


verao J rt S of ex P ec ^ m o re liberty under a Christian than under a 

it is w2f noT heathen magistrate. Have God s people more liberty to 

thatchrist- break the command of a Christian than a heathen gover- 

ians should ^^ 1 . 1 . -IT (* 

more freely nor ? and so to set up Christ s church and ordinances alter 

break the 

tne i r own conscience against his consent, more than against 
the consent of a heathen or unbelieving magistrate? 
magtetrate. What is become of all the great expectation what a 
Christian magistrate may and ought to do in establishing 
the church, in reforming the church, and in punishing the 
contrary ? It is true, say they, in Christ s time, and in 
the time of the first ministers and churches, there were no 
Christian magistrates, and therefore in that case, it was in 
vain for Christians to seek unto the heathen magistrates to 
govern the church, suppress heretics, &c.; but now we 
enjoy Christian magistrates, &c. 

Truth. All reason and religion would now expect more 
submission thereof, in matters concerning Christ, to a 
Christian magistrate, than to a pagan or anti-christian 
ruler ! But, dear Peace, the day will discover, the fire 
will try, 1 Cor. iii. [13,] what is but wood, hay, and 
stubble, though built, in men s upright intention, on that 
foundation, Jesus Christ. 

The neces- But, to wind up all, as it is most true that magistracy in 
government general is of God, Rom. xiii., for the preservation of man- 

in general of 

m civil order and peace the world otherwise would 

p e iLi3. be like the sea, wherein men, like fishes, would hunt and 
devour each other, and the greater devour the less: so 
also it is true, that magistracy in special for the several 


kinds of it is of man, 1 Pet. ii. 13. Now what kind of 
magistrate soever the people shall agree to set up, whether 
he receive Christianity before he be set in office, or 
whether he receive Christianity after, he receives no more 
power of magistracy than a magistrate that hath received 
no Christianity. For neither of them both can receive 
more than the commonweal, the body of people and civil 
state, as men, communicate unto them, and betrust them 

All lawful magistrates in the world, both before the civil 
coming of Christ Jesus and since, (excepting those un- deri Y 
paralleled typical magistrates of the church of Israel) are { ) o u d n i tains OT 
butjderivatives and agents immediately derived and em- people - 
ployed as eyes and hands, serving for the good of the 
whole : hence they have and can have no more power 
than fundamentally lies in the bodies or fountains them 
selves, which power, might, or authority is not religious, 
Christian, &c., but natural, human, and civil. 

And hence it is true, that a Christian captain, Christian 

merchant, physician, lawyer, pilot, father, master, and so m ag T s trate 
consequently magistrate, &c., is no more a captain, mer- 
chant, physician, lawyer, pilot, father, master, magistrate, 
&c., than a captain, merchant, &c., of any other conscience 
or religion. 

It is true, Christianity teaches all these to act in their The excei- 

^ lency of 

several callings to a higher ultimate end, from higher 
principles, in a more heavenly and spiritual manner, &c. 



Peace. Oh ! that thy light and brightness, dear Truth, 
might shine to the dark world in this particular : let it not 
therefore be grievous, if I request a little further illus 
tration of it. 

Truth. In his season, God will glorify himself in all his 

truths. But to gratify thy desire, thus : A pagan or anti- 

christian pilot may be as skilful to carry the ship to its 

desired port, as any Christian mariner or pilot in the world, 

The magis- and may perform that work with as much safety and speed : 

pilot m the yet have they not command over the souls and consciences 

ship of the * 

common- of their passengers, or mariners under them, although they 
may justly see to the labour of the one, and the civil be 
haviour of all in the ship. A Christian pilot, he performs 
the same work, as likewise doth the metaphorical pilot in 
the ship of the commonweal, from a principle of knowledge 

Christianity an ^ experience ; but more than this, he acts from a root of 
the fear of God and love to mankind in his whole course. 

course. Secondly, his aim is more to glorify God, than to gain his 
pay, or make his voyage. Thirdly, he walks heavenly with 
men and God, in a constant observation of God s hand in 

The chris- storms, calms, &c. So that the thread of navigation being 

tian pilot 

fcathnomow equally spun by a believing or unbelieving pilot, yet is it 

SB marines drawn over with the gold of godliness and Christianity by 

gerefthTn a Christian pilot, while he is holy in all manner of Chris 

tian 0? pagan tianity, 1 Pet. i. 15. But lastly, the Christian pilot s 

power over the souls and consciences of his sailors and 

passengers is not greater than that of the anti-christian, 

otherwise than he can subdue the souls of any by the two- 

edged sword of the Spirit, the word of God, and by his 

holy demeanour in his place, &c. 


Peace. I shall present you with no other consideration 
in this first part of the picture, but this only. 

Although the term heathen is most commonly appropri- 
ated to the wild naked Americans, &c., yet these worthy 
men justly apply it even to the civilized Romans, &c. ; and 
consequently must it be applied to the most civilized anti- 
christians, who are not the church and people of God in 

Truth. The word tri2 in the Hebrew, and Wvrj in the 
Greek, signifies no more than the Gentiles, or nations of 
the earth, which were without and not within the true 
typical national church of the Jews before Christ; and 
since his coming, the Gentiles, or nations of the world, 
who are without that one holy nation of the Christian 
Israel, the church gathered unto Christ Jesus, in particular 
and distinct congregations all the world over. 

Translators promiscuously render the words, Gentiles, 
heathens, nations : whence it is evident that even such as 
profess the name of Christ in an unregenerate and im- 
penitent estate, whether papist, or protestant, are yet 
without : that is, heathen, Gentile, or of the nations. 


Peace. Dear Truth, it is now time to cast your eye on 
the second part of this head or picture, uncomely and 

Truth. It contains two sorts of religious meetings or 

First, more extraordinary and occasional, for which he 
quotes the practice of Josiab 


An. Josiah was in the type: so are not now the several 

of Christ * * 

Jesus the governors of commonweals, kings or governors of the 
church or Israel; whose state I have proved to be a non 
such, and not to be paralleled but in the antitype, the par 
ticular church of Christ, where Christ Jesus alone sits 
King in his own most holy government. 

Secondly, they propound meetings or assemblings ordi 
nary, stated, and constant, yearly and monthly, unto 
which the civil magistrate should give liberty. For these 
meetings they propound plausible arguments from the 
necessity of them, from Christian fellowship, from God s 
glory, from the experience of the benefit of them, and 
from the good report of them, as also those two scriptures, 
1 Cor. x. 33, 2 Cor. xi. 28. 

T t ^ iese * answer > If they intend that the civil magis- 
trate should permit liberty to the free and voluntary 
sciences, and spiritual meetings of their subjects, I shall subscribe unto 
unto aii them; but if they intend that the magistrate should give 
liberty only unto themselves, and not to the rest of their 
subjects, that is to desire their own souls only to be free, 
and all other souls of their subjects to be kept in bondage : 
Secondly, if they intend that the magistrate should 
enforce all the elders of such churches under their juris 
diction to keep correspondency with them in such meetings, 
then I say, as before, it is to cause him to give liberty with 
a partial hand, and unequal balance ; for thus I argue : 
If the civil state and civil officers be of their religion and 
conscience, it is not proper for them to give liberty or 
freedom, but to give honourable testimony and appro 
bation, and their own personal submission to the churches. 
But if the civil state and officers be of another conscience 
and worship, and shall be bound to grant permission and 
liberty to them, their consciences, and meetings, and not 
to those of his own religion and conscience also, how will 


this appear to be equal in the very eye of common peace 
and righteousness ? 

For those yearly and monthly meetings, as we find not 
any such in the first churches, so neither will those general 
arguments from the plausible pretence of Christian fellow 
ship, God s glory, &c., prove such particular ways of 
glorifying God, without some precept or precedent of such 
a kind. 

For those scriptures, 1 Cor. x. 33, and 2 Cor. xi. 28, 
expressing the apostle Paul s zeal for glorifying God, 
and his care for all the churches, it is clear they concern 
such as are indeed Paul s successors, sent forth by Christ 
Jesus to preach and gather churches ; but those scriptures 
concern not the churches themselves, nor the pastors of 
the churches properly, least of all the civil state and 
commonwealth, neither of which, the churches, the pastors, 
or commonwealth, do go forth personally with that com- The com 
mission. Matt, xxviii. [19,1 to preach and baptize, that is, Matt-xxvin 

. of preaching 

to gather churches unto Christ. f. nd ba P- . 

tizing, not 

For as for the first, the churches are not ministers of Scuo the 
the gospel ; the angels or messengers of the churches, nSteadi- 
and the churches themselves, were distinct, Rev. ii. and least of kii 

to the com- 
lii. mon wealth. 

As for the second, the pastors and elders of the church, 
their work is not to gather churches, but to govern and 
feed them, Acts xx., arid 1 Pet. v. 

As for the civil magistrate, it is a ministry indeed, 
magistrates are God s ministers, Rom. xiii. 4 ; but it is of 
another nature. And therefore none of these the 
churches of Christ, the shepherds of those churches, nor 
the civil magistrate, succeeding the apostles or first 
messengers, these scriptures alleged concern not any of A query 
these to have care of all the churches. Tow 

Peace. Dear Truth, who can hear this word, but will churches ? 


presently cry out, Who then may rightly challenge that 
commission, and that promise? Matt, xxviii., &c. 
A ministry Truth. Sweet Peace, in due place and season that 

before the 

church. question may be resolved; but doubtless the true 
successors must precede or go before the church, making 
disciples, and baptizing as the apostles did, who were 
neither the churches, nor the pastors and fixed teachers of 
them, but as they gathered, so had the care of the 


Peace. I cease to urge this further ; and, in the last 
place, marvel what should be the reason of that conclusion, 
viz., " There is no power of determination in any of these 
meetings, but that all must be left to the particular deter 
mination of the churches." 

Truth. At the meeting at Jerusalem, when Paul and 

Barnabas and others were sent thither from the church of 

Christ at Antioch, the apostles and elders did not only 

Acts xv., consult and advise, but particularly determined the 


misapplied question which the church of Antioch sent to them about, 
Acts xv., and send their particular determinations or 
decrees to the churches afterward. 

So that if these assemblies were of the nature of that 
pattern or precedent, as is generally pretended, and had 
such a promise of the assistance and concurrence of the 
Spirit as that assembly had, they might then say as that 
assembly did, Acts xv., It seemeth good to the Holy Spirit 
and to us"j and should not leave particular determinations 
to the particular churches, in which sometimes are very 
few able guides and leaders. 


Peace. But what should be the reason to persuade these 
worthy men to conceive the particular congregations, or 
churches, to be more fit and competent judges in such 
high points, than an assembly of so excellent and choice 
persons, who must only consult and advise ? &c. 

Truth. Doubtless there is a strong conviction in their Christ s pro 

mise and 

souls of a professed promised presence of the Lord Jesus 
in the midst of his church, gathered after his mind and 
will, more than unto such kind of assemblies, though con 
sisting of far more able persons, even the flower and 
cream of all the churches. 

Peace. It is generally conceived, that the promise of 
Christ s presence to the end of the world, Matt, xxviii. 
[20,] is made to the church. 

Truth. There is doubtless a promise of Christ s The promise 

.of Christ 

presence in the midst of his church and congregation, presence, 
Matt, xviii. [20;] but the promise of Christ s presence, J^g^J 
Matt, xxviii. [20,] cannot properly and immediately belong xxviii- 
to the church constituted and gathered, but to such 
ministers or messengers of Christ Jesus whom he is 
pleased to employ to gather and constitute the church by 
converting and baptizing : unto which messengers, if 
Christ Jesus will be pleased to send such forth, that 
passage, Acts xv., will be precedential. 

Peace. The fourteenth general head is this, viz., What uth po 

sition ex- 
power particular churches have particularly over magis- amined. 


"First," say they, "they may censure any member, 
though a magistrate, if by sin he deserve it. 

" First, because magistrates must be subject to Christ ; 
but Christ censures all offenders, 1 Cor. v. 4, 5. 

" Secondly, every brother must be subject to Christ s 
censure, Matt, xviii. 15, 16, 17. But magistrates are 
brethren, Deut. xvii. 15. 


" Thirdly, They may censure all within the church, 
1 Cor. v. 11. 

" But the magistrates are within the church, for they 
are either without, or within, or above the church : not 
the first, nor the last, for so Christ is only above it. 

" Fourthly, the church hath a charge of all the souls of 
the members, and must give account thereof, Heb. xiii. 

Fifthly, Christ s censures are for the good of souls, 1 
Cor. v. 6 ; but magistrates must not be denied any privi 
lege for their souls, for then they must lose a privilege of 
Christ by being magistrates. 

" Sixthly, In church privileges Christians are all one, 
Gal. iii. 28, Col. iii. 11. 

"2. Magistrates may be censured for apparent and 
manifest sin against any moral law of God in their judicial 
proceedings, or in the execution of their office. Courts 
are not sanctuaries for sin ; and if for no sin, then not for 
such especially. 

" First, because sins of magistrates in court are as 
hateful to God. 2. And as much spoken against, Isa. x. 
1, Micah iii. 1. Thirdly, God hath nowhere granted such 
immunity to them. Fourthly, what a brother may do 
privately in case of private offence, that the church may 
do publicly in case of public scandal. But a private 
brother may admonish and reprove privately in case of any 
private offence, Matt, xviii. 15, Luke xvii. 3, Psalm 
cxli. 5. 

" Lastly, Civil magistracy doth not exempt any church 
from faithful watchfulness over any member, nor deprive a 
church of her due power, nor a church member of his 
due privilege, which is to partake of every ordinance of 
God, needful and requisite to their winning and salvation, 



Truth. These arguments to prove tha magistrate sub 
ject, even for sin committed in judicial proceeding, I judge,, 
like Mount Zion, immoveable, and every true Christian 
that is a magistrate will judge so with me : yet a query or 
two will not be unseasonable. 

First, where they name the church in this whole pas- Christ s ad- 


sage, whether they mean the church without the ministry tl h a I ). s e a ( [ e 
or governors of it, or with the elders and governors ^fminis " 
jointly? and if the latter, why name they not the ters thereof * 
governors at all, since that in all administrations of the 
church the duty lies not upon the body of the church, but 
firstly and properly upon the elders ? 

It is true in case of the elder s obstinacy in apparent sin, 
the church hath power over him, having as much power 
to take down as to set up, Col. iv. [17,] Say to Archippus, 
&c. ; yet in the ordinary dispensations and administrations 
of the ordinances, the ministers or elders thereof are first 
charged with duty, &c. 

Hence first for the apostles, who converted, gathered, The minis- 
and espoused the churches to Christ, I question whether vemora of 

r Christ s 

their power to edification was not a power over the 
churches, as many scriptures seem to imply. 

Secondly, for the ordinary officers ordained for the 
ordinary and constant guiding, feeding, and governing the 
church, they were rulers, shepherds, bishops, or overseers, 
and to them was every letter and charge, commendation or 
reproof, directed, Eev. ii. 3, Acts xx. And that place by 
them quoted for the submission of the magistrates to the 
church, it mentions only submission to the rulers thereof, 
Heb. xiii. 17. Those excellent men concealed not this out 


of ignorance, and therefore most certainly in a silent way 
confess, that their doctrine concerning the magistrates 
power in church causes would seem too gross, if they 
should not have named the whole church, and but silently 
A paradox ; implied the governors of it. And is it not wonderful in 

magistrates ^ . i 

of the an y S0 ^ er e 7 e now *e same persons, magistrates, can be 
exalted over the ministers and members, as being bound to 
them,yet establish, reform, suppress by the civil sword in punishing 
the body or goods, and yet for the same actions, if the 
church and governors thereof so conceive, be liable to a 
punishment ten thousand times more transcendent, to wit, 
excommunication, a punishment reaching to their souls, 
and consciences, and eternal estate ; and this not only for 
common sins, but for those actions which immediately 
concern the execution of their civil office, in judicial pro 
ceeding ? 
Eli2a " Peace. The prelates in Queen Elizabeth s days, kept 

Sue? to their w ^ n more plainness to their principles : for, acknowledging 

?han C1 many the queen to be supreme in all church causes, according to 

spirit and r the title and power of Henry VIII. her father, taken 

from the pope, and given to him by the parliament, they 

professed that the queen was not a sheep, but under Christ 

the chief shepherd, and that the church had not power to 

excommunicate the queen. 

Mr. Bar- Truth. Therefore, sweet Peace, it was esteemed capital, 

fession con- in that faithful witness of so much truth as he saw, even 


S 66 ? ., unto death, Mr. Barrowe, to maintain before the lords of 


the council, that the queen herself was subject to the 
power of Christ Jesus in the church : which truth over 
threw that other tenent, that the queen should be head and 
supreme in all church causes. 3 

Peace. Those bishops according to their principles, 

8 [See Neal s Hist, of Puritans, i. 353, edit. 1837.] 


though bad and false, dealt plainly, though cruelly, with 
Mr. Barrowe : but these authors, whose principles are the 
same with the bishops , concerning the power of the magis 
trate in church affairs, though they waive the title, and 
will not call them heads or governors, which now in lighter 
times seems too gross, yet give they as much spiritual 
power and authority to the civil magistrates to the full, as 
ever the bishops gave unto them ; although they yet also 
with the same breath lay all their honour in the dust, and 
make them to lick the dust of the feet of the churches, as 
it is prophesied the kings and the queens of the earth shall 
do, when Christ makes them nursing fathers and nursing 
mothers, Isa. xlix. 4 The truth is, Christ Jesus is honoured 
when the civil magistrate, a member of the church, 
punisheth any member or elder of the church with the 
civil sword, even to the death, for any crime against the 
civil state, so deserving it ; for he bears not the sword in 

And Christ Jesus is again most highly honoured, when 
for apparent sin in the magistrate, being a member of the 
church, for otherwise they have not to meddle with him, 
the elders with the church admonish him, and recover his 
soul : or if obstinate in sin, cast him forth of their spiri 
tual and Christian fellowship ; which doubtless they could 
not do, were the magistrate supreme governor under 
Christ in ecclesiastical or church causes, and so conse 
quently the true heir and successor of the apostles. 


Is not this too like the pope s yet holding out his slipper to the 
profession of servus servorum Dei, of princes, kings, and emperors ? 



Peace. The fifteenth head runs thus : viz., In what cases 
must churches proceed with magistrates in case of offence. 

"We like it well, that churches be slower in pro 
ceeding to excommunication, as of all other, so of civil 
magistrates, especially in point of their judicial proceedings, 
unless it be in scandalous breach of a manifest law of God, 
and that after notorious evidence of the fact, and that 
after due seeking and waiting for satisfaction in a previous 
advertisement. And though each particular church in re 
spect of the government of Christ be independent and 
absolute within itself, yet where the commonweal consists 
of church members, it may be a point of Christian wisdom 
to consider and consult with the court also, so far as any 
thing may seem doubtful to them in the magistrate s case, 
which may be further cleared by intelligence given from 
them ; but otherwise we dare not leave it in the power of 
any church to forbear to proceed and agree upon that on 
earth, which they plainly see Christ hath resolved in his 
word, and will ratify in heaven." 

Truth. If the scope of this head be to qualify and adorn 
Christian impartiality and faithfulness with Christian wis 
dom and tenderness, I honour and applaud such a 
Christian motion ; but whereas that case is put which is 
nowhere found in the pattern of the first churches, nor 
suiting with the rule of Christianity, to wit, that "the 
commonweal should consist of church members," which 
must be taken privately, to wit, that none should be ad 
mitted members of the commonweal but such as are first 
members of the church which must necessarily run the 
church upon that temptation to feel the pulse of the court 


concerning a delinquent magistrate, before they dare pro 
ceed I say, let such practices be brought to the touch 
stone of the true frame of a civil commonweal, and the true ? he in l en - 

lions of men 

frame of the spiritual or Christian commonweal, the church fr 0n iThe ing 
of Christ, and it will be seen what wood, hay, and stubble fSs of^Jivii 

-, -, . . s~n . , and spiritual 

of carnal policy and human inventions in Christ s matters common- 

x f weals. , 

are put in place of the precious stones, gold, and silver of 
the ordinances of the most high and only wise God. 


Peace. Dear Truth, we are now arrived at their last ieth and 

. , . . last head 

head : the title is this, viz., examined. 

Their power in the liberties and privileges of these churches. 

" First, all magistrates ought to be chosen out of church 
members, Exod. xviii. 21 ; Deut. xvii. 15 ; Prov. xxix. 2. 
When the righteous rule, the people rejoice. 

" Secondly, that all free men elected, be only church 
members ; 

" 1. Because if none but church members should rule, 
then others should not choose, because they may elect 
others beside church members. 

" 2. From the pattern of Israel, where none had power 
to choose but only Israel, or such as were joined to the 
people of God. 

" 3. If it shall fall out that, in the court consisting of 
magistrates and deputies, there be a dissent between them 
which may hinder the common good, that they now return 
for ending the same to their first principles, which are the 
free men, and let them be consulted with." 

Truth. In this head are two branches : first, concern- A great 

A A 


ing the choice of magistrates, that such ought to be chosen 
as are church members : for which is quoted, Exod. xviii. 

as is intend- _ -r^ i r ~r> ct 

ed, godly 21 ; Deut. xvn. 15 ; Prov. xxix. 2. 

a particular Unto which I answer : It were to be wished, that since 


oni at eiMbie ^ e P omt * s so weighty, as concerning the pilots and 

chosen e for steersmen of kingdoms and nations, &c., on whose abilities, 

magistrates. Q^^ an( j faithfulness depends most commonly the peace 

and safety of the commonweals they sail in : I say, it were 

to be wished that they had more fully explained what they 

intend by this affirmative, viz., " Magistrates ought to be 

chosen out of church members." 

For if they intend by this ought to be chosen, a necessity 
of convenience, viz., that for the greater advancement of 
common utility and rejoicing of the people, according to 
the place quoted, Prov. xxix. 2, it were to be desired, 
prayed for, and peaceably endeavoured, then I readily as 
sent unto them. 

But if by this ought they intend such a necessity as 
those scriptures quoted imply, viz., that people shall sin 
by choosing such for magistrates as are not members of 
churches : as the Israelites should have sinned, if they had 
not, according to Jethro s counsel, Exod. xviii., and ac 
cording to the command of God, Deut. xvii., chosen their 
judges and kings within themselves in Israel : then I pro 
pose these necessary queries ; 

^tate civil First. Whether those are not lawful civil combinations, 
dmrehesof societies, and communions of men, in towns, cities, states, 
not 8 or kingdoms, where no church of Christ is resident, yea, 
where his name was never yet heard of? I add to this, 
that men of no small note, skilful in the state of the world, 
^knowledge, that the world divided into thirty parts, 
twenty-five of that thirty have never yet heard of the 


nlver y heia name of Christ : if [therefore] their civil politics and 
combinations be not lawful, because they are not churches 


and their magistrates church members, then disorder, con 
fusion, and all unrighteousness is lawful, and pleasing to 

Secondly. Whether in such states or commonweals 
where a church or churches of Christ are resident, such 
persons may not lawfully succeed to the crown or govern- 
ment in whom the fear of God, according to Jethro s an 
counsel, cannot be discerned, nor are brethren of the 
church, according to Deut. xvii. 15, but only are fitted 
with civil and moral abilities to manage the civil affairs of 
the civil estate. 

Thirdly. Since not many wise and noble are called, but 
the poor receive the gospel, as God hath chosen the poor 
of the world to be rich in faith, 1 Cor. i. 26, James ii. 5 : t f ltalof 
whether it may not ordinarily come to pass, that there 
may not be found in a true church of Christ, which some 
times consisteth but of few persons, persons fit to be 
either kings or governors, &c., whose civil office is no less 
difficult than the office of a doctor of physic, a master or 
pilot of a ship, or a captain or commander of a band or 
army of men : for which services the children of God may 
be no ways qualified, though otherwise excellent for the 
fear of God, and the knowledge and grace of the Lord 

Fourthly. If magistrates ought, that is, ought only, to 
be chosen out of the church, I demand, if they ought not 
also to be dethroned and deposed when they cease to be of Jj 
the church, either by voluntary departure from it, or by 
excommunication out of it, according to the bloody tenents 
and practice of some papists, with whom the protestants, 
according to their principles, although they seem to abhor 
it, do absolutely agree ? 

Fifthly. Therefore, lastly, I ask, if this be not to turn 
the world upside down, to turn the world out of the 

A .A 2 


world, to pluck up the roots and foundations of all common 
society in the world, to turn the garden and paradise of 
the church and saints into the field of the civil state of 
the world, and to reduce the world to the first chaos or 
confusion ? 


Peace. Dear Truth, thou conquerest, and shalt triumph 
in season, but some will say, how answer you those scrip 
tures alleged? 

Truth. I have fully and at large declared the vast 
differences between that holy nation of typical Israel and 
all other lands and countries, how unmatchable then and 
now, and never to be paralleled, but by the true Israel 
and particular churches of Christ residing in all parts, and 
un( l er tne several civil governments of the world. In 
xvji! kn D d eut> which churches, the Israel of God and kingdom of Christ 
paralleled Jesus, such only are to be chosen spiritual officers and 

in the true J 

b governors, to manage his kingly power and authority in 
tne cnurcn > as are, according to the scriptures quoted, not 
pope, bishops, or civil powers, but from amongst them 
selves, brethren, fearing God, hating covetousness or filthy 
lucre, according to those golden rules given by the Lord 
Jesus, 1 Tim. iii., and Tit. i. 

The want of discerning this true parallel between Israel 
in the type then, and Israel the antitype now, is that rock 
whereon, through the Lord s righteous jealousy, punishing 
the world and chastising his people, thousands dash, and 
make woful shipwreck. 

The second branch, viz., that all freemen elected be 
only church members, I have before shown to be built on 


that sandy and dangerous ground of Israel s pattern. 
Oh ! that it may please the Father of lights to discover 
this to all that fear his name ! Then would they not sin 
to save a kingdom, nor run into the lamentable breach of 
civil peace and order in the world, nor be guilty of forcing 
thousands to hypocrisy in a state-worship, nor of profaning 
the holy name of God and Christ by putting their names 
and ordinances upon unclean and unholy persons, nor of 
shedding the blood of such heretics, &c., whom Christ 
would have enjoy longer patience and permission until the 
harvest, nor of the blood of the Lord Jesus himself in 
his faithful witnesses of truth, nor lastly, of the blood of 
so many hundred thousands slaughtered men, women, and 
children, by such uncivil and unchristian wars and com 
bustions about the Christian faith and religion. 

Peace. Dear Truth, before we part, I ask your faithful 
help once more, to two or three scriptures which many 
allege, and yet we have not spoken of. 

Truth. Speak on. Here is some sand left in this our 
hour-glass of merciful opportunity. One grain of time s 
inestimable sand is worth a golden mountain ; let us not 
lose it. 

Peace. The first is that of the Mnevites fast, commanded The Nine- 

vites fast. 

by the king of Mneveh and his nobles upon the preaching examined. 
of Jonah : succeeded by God s merciful answer in sparing 
of the city ; and quoted with honourable approbation by 
the Lord Jesus Christ, Jonah iii., and Matt. xii. 41. 

Truth. I have before proved, that even Jehoshaphat s 
fast, he being king of the national church and people of 
Israel, could not possibly be a type or warrant for every 
king or magistrate in the world, whose nations, countries, 
or cities cannot be churches of God now in the gospel, 
according to Christ Jesus. 

Much less can this pattern of the king of Nineveh and 


his nobles, be a ground for kings and magistrates now to 
force all their subjects under them in the matters of 

Peace. It will be said, why did God thus answer them ? 

Truth. God s mercy in hearing doth not prove an action 
right and according to rule. 

It pleased God to hear the Israelites cry for flesh, and 
afterward for a king, giving both in anger to them. 

It pleased God to hear Ahab s prayer, yea, and the 
prayer of the devils, Luke viii. [32,] although their per 
sons and prayers in themselves abominable. 
object. If it be said, why did Christ approve this example ? 

Answer. I answer, the Lord Jesus Christ did not approve the 

king of Nineveh s compelling all to worship, but the men 
of Nineveh s repentance at the preaching of Jonah. 

Peace. It will be said, what shall kings and magistrates 
now do in the plagues of sword, famine, pestilence ? 

Truth. Kings and magistrates must be considered, as 
formerly, invested with no more power than the people be- 
trust them with. 

But no people can betrust them with any spiritual power 
in matters of worship ; but with a civil power belonging 
to their goods and bodies. 

2. Kings and magistrates must be considered as either 
godly or ungodly. 

If ungodly, his own and people s duty is repentance, 
and reconciling of their persons unto God, before their 
sacrifice can be accepted. Without repentance what 
have any to do with the covenant or promise of God? 
Psalm 1. 16. 

Again, if godly, they are to humble themselves, and beg 
mercies for themselves and people. 

Secondly. Upon this advantage and occasion, they are 
to stir up their people, as possibly they may, to repent- 


ance ; but not to force the consciences of people to 

If it be said, what must be attended to in this example ? ob J ect - 

Two things are most eminent in this example. Answer. 

First. The great work of repentance, which God calls 
all men unto, upon the true preaching of his word. 

Secondly. The nature of that true repentance, whether HOW Eng- 

land and 

legal or evangelical. The people of Nineveh turned from L e t n ^ n inay 
the violence that was in their hands : and confident I am, 8 P ared - 
if this nation shall turn, though but with a legal repent 
ance, from that violent persecuting or hunting each of 
other for religion s sake, the greatest violence and hunting 
in the wilderness of the whole world even as Sodom and 
Gomorrah upon a legal repentance had continued until 
Christ s day : so consequently might England, London, 
&c., continue free from a general destruction, upon such a 
turning from their violence, until the heavens and the 
whole world be with fire consumed. 

Peace. The second scripture is that speech of the Lord 
Christ, Luke xxii. 36, He that hath not a sword, let him sell 
his coat and buy one. 

Truth. For the clearing of this scripture, I must pro- Luke xxii., 

the selling 

pose and reconcile that seeming contrary command of the to 
Lord Jesus to Peter, Matt. xxvi. [52,] Put up thy sword 
into its place, for all that take the sword shall perish by it. 

In the former scripture, Luke xxii. 36, it pleased the 
Lord Jesus, speaking of his present trouble, to compare 
his former sending forth of his disciples without scrip, &c., 
with that present condition and trial coining upon them, 
wherein they should provide both scrip and sword, &c. 

Yet now, first, when they tell him of two swords, he 
answers, It is enough: which shows his former meaning 
was not literal, but figurative, foreshowing his present 
danger above his former. 


Secondly, in the same sense at the same time, Matt, 
xxvi. 52, commanding Peter to put up his sword, he gives 
a threefold reason thereof. 

1. (ver. 52,) From the event of it : for all that take the 
sword shall perish by it. 

2. The needlessness of it: for with a word to his 
Father, he could have twelve legions of angels. 

3. The counsel of God to be fulfilled in the scripture : 
thus it ought to be. 

Peace. It is much questioned by some, what should be 
the meaning of Christ Jesus in that speech, All that take 
the sword shall perish by the sword. 
A threefold Truth. There is a threefold taking of the sword : first, 

taking of 

the sword, by murderous cruelty, either of private persons; or 
secondly, public states or societies, in wrath or revenge 
each against other. 

Secondly, a just and righteous taking of the sword in 
punishing offenders against the civil peace, either more 
personal, private, and ordinary; or more public, op 
pressors, tyrants, ships, navies, &c. Neither of these can 
it be imagined that Christ Jesus intended to Peter. 

Thirdly, there is therefore a third taking of the sword, 
forbidden to Peter, that is, for Christ and the gospel s 
cause when Christ is in danger : which made Peter strike, 

Peace. It seems to some most contrary to all true rea 
son, that Christ Jesus, innocency itself, should not be 

Truth. The foolishness of God is wiser than the wisdom 
of man. 

It is not the purpose of God, that the spiritual battles 
of his Son shall be fought by carnal weapons and persons. 

It is not his pleasure that the world shall flame on 
fire with civil combustions for his Son s sake. It is 


directly contrary to the nature of Christ Jesus, his 
saints and truths, that throats of men, which is the high 
est contrariety to civil converse, should be torn out for 
his sake who most delighted to converse with the greatest 

It is the counsel of God, that his servants shall over 
come by three weapons of a spiritual nature, Rev. xii. 1 1 ; 
and that all that take the sword of steel shall perish. 

Lastly, it is the counsel of God, that Christ Jesus shall 
shortly appear a most glorious judge and revenger against 
all his enemies, when the heavens and the earth shall flee 
before his most glorious presence. 

Peace. I shall propose the last scripture much insisted 
on by many for carnal weapons in spiritual cases, Rev. 
xvii. 16, The ten horns which thou sawest upon the beast, 
these shall hate the whore, and shall make her desolate and 
naked, and shall eat her flesh, and shall burn her with 

Truth. Not to controvert with some, whether or no the 
beast be yet risen and extant : 

Nor secondly, whether either the beast, or the horns, 
or the whore, may be taken literally for any corporal beast 
or whore : 

Or thirdly, whether these ten horns be punctually and 
exactly ten kings : 

Or fourthly, whether those ten horns signify those many 
kings, kingdoms, and governments, who have bowed down 
to the pope s yoke, and have committed fornication with 
that great whore the church of Rome : 

Let this last be admitted, (which yet will cost some 
work to clear against all opposites) : yet, 

First, can the time be now clearly demonstrated to be 
come? &c. 

Secondly, how will it be proved, that this hatred of this 


whore, shall be a true, chaste, Christian hatred against 
anti-christian, whorish practices ? &c. 

Thirdly, or rather that this hating, and desolating, and 
making naked, and burning shall arise, not by way of an 
ordinance warranted by the institution of Christ Jesus, 
but by way of providence, when, as it useth to be with 
all whores and their lovers, the church of Rome and her 
great lovers shall fall out, and by the righteous vengeance 
of God upon her, drunk with the blood of saints or holy 
ones, these mighty fornicators shall turn their love into 
hatred, which hatred shall make her a poor, desolate, naked 
whore, torn and consumed, &c. 

Peace. You know it is a great controversy, how the 
kings of the earth shall thus deal with the whore in 
the seventeenth chapter, and yet so bewail her in the 
eighteenth chapter. 

Truth. If we take it that these kings of the earth 
shall first hate, and plunder, and tear, and burn this 
whore, and yet afterward shall relent and bewail their 
cruel dealing toward her : or else, that as some kings deal 
so terribly with her, yet others of those kings shall be 
wail her : 

If either of these two answers stand, or a better be 
given, yet none of them can prove it lawful for people to 
give power to their kings and magistrates thus to deal 
with them, their subjects, for their conscience; nor for 
magistrates to assume a tittle more than the people 
betrust them with ; nor for one people out of conscience 
to God, and for Christ s sake, thus to kill and slaughter 
and burn each other. However, it may please the 
righteous judge, according to the famous types of Gideon s 
and Jehoshaphat s battles, to permit in justice, and to 
order in wisdom, these mighty and mutual slaughters each 
of other. 


Peace. We have now, dear Truth, through the gracious 
hand of God, clambered up to the top of this our tedious 

Truth. Oh ! it is mercy inexpressible that either thou 

or I have had so long a breathing time, and that together ! 

Peace. If English ground must yet be drunk with 

English blood, oh ! where shall Peace repose her wearied 

head and heavy heart ? 

Truth. Dear Peace, if thou find welcome, and the God 
of peace miraculously please to quench these all-devouring 
flames, yet where shall Truth find rest from cruel persecu 
tions ? 

Peace. Oh ! will not the authority of holy scriptures, 
the commands and declarations of the Son of God, therein 
produced by thee, together with all the lamentable ex 
periences of former and present slaughters, prevail with 
the sons of men, especially with the sons of peace, to de 
part from the dens of lions, and mountains of leopards, 
and to put on the bowels, if not of Christianity, yet of 
humanity each to other ? 

Truth. Dear Peace, Habakkuk s fishes keep their con 
stant bloody game of persecutions in the world s mighty 
ocean; the greater taking, plundering, swallowing up 
the lesser. Oh ! happy he whose portion is the God 
of Jacob ! who hath nothing to lose under the sun ; but 
hath a state, a house, an inheritance, a name, a crown, a 
life, past all the plunderers , ravishers , murderers reach 
and fury ! 

Peace. But lo ! Who s there ? 

Truth. Our sister Patience, whose desired company is 
as needful as delightful. It is like the wolf will send the 
scattered sheep in one : the common pirate gather up the 
loose and scattered navy : the slaughter of the witnesses 


by that bloody beast unite the independents and presby- 

"The God of peace, the God of truth, will shortly seal 
this truth, and confirm this witness, and make it evident 
to the whole world, 










THIS Letter I acknowledge to have received from Mr. 
Cotton, whom for his personal excellencies I truly 
honour and love: yet at such a time of my distressed 
wanderings amongst the barbarians, that being destitute of 
food, of clothes, of time, I reserved it, though hardly, 
amidst so many barbarous distractions, and afterward pre 
pared an answer to be returned. 

In the interim,, some friends being much grieved, that Mr. cotton s 


one, publicly acknowledged to be godly, and dearly JJJJJJ; 1 t c h e n " 
beloved, should yet be so exposed to the mercy of a 
howling wilderness in frost and snow, &c. : Mr. Cotton, to 
take off the edge of censure from himself, professed both 
in speech and writing, that he was no procurer of my 

Some letters then passed between us, in which I proved 
and expressed, that if I had perished in that sorrowful 
winter s flight, only the blood of Jesus Christ could have 
washed him from the guilt of mine. 

His final answer was, " Had you perished, your blood 
had been on your own head ; it was your sin to procure 
it, and your sorrow to suffer it." 

Here I confess I stopped, and ever since suppressed 
mine answer ; waiting, if it might please the Father of 

1 [For elucidations of the refe- Cotton s reply, see the Biographical 
rences made by Mr. Williams in this Introduction.] 
preface to his sufferings, and for Mr. 


mercies, more to mollify and soften, and render more 
humane and merciful, the ear and heart of that otherwise 
excellent and worthy man. 
God s wis- Jt cannot now be iustly offensive, that finding this 

dom in the 

ptTbTisMng letter public (by whose procurement I know not) I also 
this letter. p resent to fa e same public view, my formerly intended 


Times of I rejoice in the goodness and wisdom of him who is the 
Christ. Father of lights and mercies, in ordering the season both 
of mine own present opportunity of answer : as also and 
especially of such protestations and resolutions of so many 
fearing God, to seek what worship and worshippers are 
acceptable to him in Jesus Christ. 

A golden Mine own ears were glad and late witnesses of a 
parliament heavenly speech of one of the most eminent of that high 
assembly of parliament ; viz., ee Why should the labours of 
any be suppressed, if sober, though never so different? 
We now profess to seek God, we desire to see light," &c. 
Times when I know there is a time when God will not be found, 
God To g mes though men seek him early, Prov. i. [28.] 

There is a time when prayer and fasting come too late, 
Jer. xiv. [10.] 

There is a seeking of the God of Israel with a 
stumbling-block, according to which God giveth his Israel 
an answer, Ezek. xiv. [4.] 

Lastly, there is a proud refusal of the mind of God re 
turned in answer by the prophet, Jer. xlii. [13.] 
Whole . Love bids me hope for better things. God s promise 

seekers the assures us, that his people returning from captivity, shall 
of Christ " seek him, and pray, and find him, when they seek him with 
their whole heart, Jer. xxix. [13.] And God s angel 
comforts those against all fears that seek Jesus that was 
crucified, Mark xvi. [6]. 

Thy soul so prosper, whoever thou art, worthy reader, 


as with thy whole heart thou seekest that true Lord Jesus, 
who is holiness itself, and requires a spiritual and holy- 
bride like to himself, the pure and spotless lamb. He 
alone, as he is able to save thee to the utmost from thy sins 
and sorrows by his blood, so hath he brought his Father s 
counsel from his bosom, and every soul is bound, on pain 
of eternal pains, to attend alone [to] his laws and ordi 
nances, commands and statutes, Heb. vii., Acts iii. [23]. 

That Lord Jesus, who purposely chose to descend of The true 

T . P . Lord Jesus 

mean and interior parents, a carpenter, &c. : studied hu- 

Who disdained not to enter this world in a stable, seif-deniai. 
amongst beasts, as unworthy the society of men: who 
passed through this world with the esteem of a madman, 
a deceiver, a conjuror, a traitor against Caesar, and destitute 
of an house wherein to rest his head : who made choice of 
his first and greatest ambassadors out of fishermen, tent- 
makers, &c. : and at last chose to depart on the stage of a 
painful, shameful gibbet : 

If Him thou seekest in these searching times, makest 
him alone thy white [robe] and soul s beloved, willing to 
follow, and be like him in doing [and] in suffering ; seekers of 
although thou findest him not in the restoration of his sure of a 

-i. -,. n gracious 

ordinances, according to his first pattern : answer, 2 

3 t Thess. v, 

Yet shalt thou see him, reign with him, eternally admire 
him, and enjoy him, when he shortly comes in flaming fire 
to burn up millions of ignorant and disobedient. 

Your most unworthy country-man, 


B B 




Mr. Cotton. " Beloved in Christ." 

Answer. Though I humbly desire to acknowledge myself 
unworthy to be beloved, and most of all unworthy of the 
name of Christ, and to be beloved for his sake : yet since 
Mr. Cotton is pleased to use such an affectionate compel- 
lation and testimonial expression, to one so afflicted and 
persecuted by himself and others, whom for their personal 
worth and godliness I also honour and love, I desire it 
may be seriously reviewed by himself and them, and all 
men, whether the Lord Jesus be well pleased that one, 
beloved in him, should, for no other cause than shall 
presently appear, be denied the common air to breathe in, 
and a civil cohabitation upon the same common earth; 
yea, and also without mercy and human compassion, be 
exposed to winter miseries in a howling wilderness ? 1 

1 [It is] a monstrous paradox, common air together, &c. I am in- 

that God s children should persecute formed it was the speech of an 

God s children, and that they that honourable knight of the parliament : 

hope to live eternally together with " What ! Christ persecute Christ in 

Christ Jesus in the heavens, should New England ?" 2 
not suffer each other to live in this 

2 [" Though God s children may wicked men either, for well-doing : 
not persecute God s children, nor yet if they be found to walk in the 


And I ask further, Whether, since Mr. Cotton else- Mr. cotton 


where professeth to expect far greater light than yet more light, 

shines, upon the same grounds and practice, if Christ 
Jesus in any of his servants shall be pleased to hold forth 
a further light, Christ Jesus himself shall find the mercy 
and humanity of a civil and temporal life and being with 

Mr. Cotton. " Though I have little hope, when I con 
sider the uncircumcision of mine own lips, that you will 
hearken to my voice, who have not hearkened to the body 
of the whole church of Christ with you, and the testimony 
and judgment of so many elders and brethren of other 
churches : yet I trust my labour will be accepted of the 
Lord ; and who can tell but that he may bless it to you 
also, if, by his help, I endeavour to show you the sandiness 
of those grounds, out of which you have banished your 
self from the fellowship of all the churches in these 
countries ?" 

Answer. First, I acknowledge it a holy character of a wm-wor- 


heavenly spirit, to make ingenuous true acknowledgment 
of an uncircumcised lip : yet that discerning spirit, which S 
God graciously vouchsafeth to them that tremble at his mi Ity 
word, shall not only find, that not only the will-worships of 
men may be painted and varnished over with the glittering 
show of humility, Col. ii., but also God s dearest servants, spiritual 
eminent for humility and meekness, may yet be troubled sweii,uf Q f 
with a swelling of spiritual pride out of the very sense of a man? c 


their humility. It pleased God to give Paul himself pre 
venting physic against this distemper, in the midst of 

way of the wicked their brethren death, and yet hope to live eternally 

may justly deprive them in some with them in the heavens." Master 

cases not only of the common air of John Cotton s Answer to Master Roger 

the country, by banishment, but even Williams, p. 14.] 
of the common air of the world by 

B B 2 


Humility God s gracious revelation to him. And what an humble ar- 
seasonabie gument doth David use, when himself, advised by Nathan, 

in setting 

up win- we nt about an evil work out of a holy intention, to wit, 

worship, or 

ot e h r erT ting a work of will-worship, in building the temple unbidden? 
Behold, I dwell in a house of Cedar, but the ark of God in 
a tent, 2 Sam. vii. 2. Humility is never in season to set 
up superstition, or to persecute God s children. 


Secondly, I observe his charge against me for not 
hearkening to a twofold voice of Christ: first, of the 
whole church of Christ with me. 3 

Unto which I answer, according to my conscience and 

persuasion, I was then charged by office with the feeding 

of that flock : and when in the apprehension of some 

Public sins public evils, the whole country professed to humble itself 

public ca- and seek God, I endeavoured, as a faithful watchman on 

lamities ; 

*ke wa ^ 8 5 t sound the trumpet and give the alarm : and 

upon a fast day, in faithfulness and uprightness, as then 
and still I am persuaded, I discovered eleven public sins, 
for which I believed (and do) it pleased God to inflict, and 
further to threaten public calamities. Most of which 
eleven (ifi not all) that church then seemed to assent unto : 
until afterward in my troubles the greater part of that 
church was swayed and bowed, whether for fear of perse 
cution or otherwise, to say and practise what, to my know 
ledge, with sighs and groans, many of them mourned 

3 [That is, of the church at Salem, of which Mr. Williams was then the 


I know the church of Colosse must say to Archippus, coi. iv. [ie.] 

* L Faithfulness 

Take heed to thy ministry, &c., which he may negligently 
and proudly refuse to hearken to ; but let my case be con- 
sidered, and the word of the Lord examined, and the 
difference of my case will shine forth, and my faithfulness and j 
and uprightness to God and the souls of that people will 
witness for me, when my soul comes to Hezekiah s case on 
his death-bed, and in that great day approaching. 

For my not hearkening to the second voice, the testi 
mony of so many elders and brethren of other churches : 
because I truly esteem and honour the persons of which 
the New English churches are constituted. I will not 


answer the argument of numbers and multitudes against J^des 111 * 1 
one, as we use to answer the popish universality, that God 
sometimes stirs up one Elijah against eight hundred of 
Baal s priests, 4 one Micaiah against four hundred of Ahab s 
prophets, one Athanasius against many hundreds of Arian 
bishops, one John Huss against the whole council of 
Constance, Luther and the two witnesses against many 
thousands, &c. Yet this I mav truly say, that David David and 

J the princes 

himself, and the princes of Israel, and thirty thousand 
Israel, carrying up the ark, were not to be hearkened to J 
nor followed in their (as I may say) holy rejoicings and 

triumphings, the due order of the Lord yet being wanting not after the 
to their holy intentions and affections, and the Lord at last 
sending in a sad stop and breach of Uzzah amongst them 
(Perez Uzzah), as he hath ever yet done, and will do in 
all the reformations that have been hitherto made by his 
Davids which are not after the due order. To which 
purpose, it is maintained by the papists themselves, and by 
their councils, that scripture only must be heard : yea, one 
scripture in the mouth of one simple mechanic before the 


* [This should be four hundred and fifty. See 1 Kings xviii. 1922 : or 
including the "prophets of the groves," 850.], 


whole council. By that only do I desire to stand or fall 
in trial or judgment ; for all flesh is grass, and the beauty 
of flesh, the most wisest, holiest, learnedest, is but the 
flower or beauty of grass : only the word of Jehovah 
standeth fast for ever. 


Thirdly, Mr. Cotton endeavoureth to discover the sandi- 
ness of those grounds out of which, as he saith, I have 
banished myself, &c. 
Good inten- I answer, I question not his holy and loving intentions 

tions and 

Jjk* ion8 j n and affections, and that my grounds seem sandy to himself 
with P God and others. Those intentions and affections may be 
enSvomi accepted, as his person, with the Lord, as David of his 
bum like desires to build the Lord a temple, though on sandv 

stubble, &c 

grounds. Yet Mr. Cotton s endeavours to prove the firm 

rock of the truth of Jesus to be the weak and uncertain 

sand of man s invention, those shall perish and burn like 

hay or stubble. The rocky strength of those grounds shall 

more appear in the Lord s season, and himself may yet 

confess so much, as since he came into New England he 

hath confessed the sandiness of the grounds of many of 

Many his practices in which he walked in Old England, and the 

seemed 8 rockmess of their grounds that witnessed against them 

M?. cotton and himself in those practices, though for that time their 

in Old Eng- . 

land, which grounds seemed sandy to him. 

now he con- 

f ro s cky ht be When myself heretofore, through the mercy of the 
Most High, discovered to himself and other eminent 
servants of God my grounds against their using of the 

Mr cotton C mmon Prayer, my grounds seemed sandy to them, 
which since in New England Mr. Cotton hath acknow- 


ledged rocky, and hath seen cause so to publish to the 
world, in his discourse to Mr. Ball against set forms of 


prayer. 5 against it. 

But because the reader may ask, both Mr. Cotton and 
me, what were the grounds of such a sentence of banish 
ment against me, which are here called sandy, I shall 
relate in brief what those grounds were, some whereof he 
is pleased to discuss in this letter, and others of them not 
to mention. 6 

After my public trial and answers at the general court, 
one of the most eminent magistrates, whose name and 
speech may by others be remembered, stood up and 
spake : 

" Mr. Williams," said he, " holds forth these four par- 

The four 
ticulars; particular f 

" First, That we have not our land by patent from the 
king, but that the natives are the true owners of it, and m< 
that we ought to repent of such a receiving it by patent. 

" Secondly, That it is not lawful to call a wicked 
person to swear, [or] to pray, as being actions of God s 

" Thirdly, That it is not lawful to hear any of the 
ministers of the parish assemblies in England. 

"Fourthly, that the civil magistrate s power extends 
only to the bodies, and goods, and outward state of men," 

I acknowledge the particulars were rightly summed up, 

5 [ u The truth is, I did not publish another to Mr. Ball divers years ago. 
that discourse to the world A brief How it came to be published I do 
discourse in defence of set forms of not know." Cotton s Answer, p. 23. 
prayer was penned by Mr. Ball that a See Hanbury s Hist. Mem. ii. 157, 
religious knight sent over with desire for an abstract of it.] 
to hear our judgment of it. At his e [See also Biographical Intro- 
request I drew up a short answer, and duction to this volume.] 
sent one copy to the knight and 


and I also hope, that, as I then maintained the rocky 
strength of them to my own and other consciences satis 
faction, so, through the Lord s assistance, I shall be ready 
for the same grounds not only to be bound and banished, 
but to die also in New England, as for most holy truths of 
God in Christ Jesus. 

Yea; but, saith he, upon those grounds you banished 
yourself from the society of the churches in these coun 

I answer, if Mr. Cotton mean my own voluntary with 

drawing from those churches resolved to continue in those 

evils, and persecuting the witnesses of the Lord present- 

Christ Jesus ing light unto them. I confess it was mine own voluntarv 


act y ea > I n P e tne act f tne Lord Jesus sounding forth 
in me, a poor despised ram s horn, the blast which shall in 
his own holy season cast down the strength and confidence 
of those inventions of men in the worshipping of the true 
and living God : And lastly, His act in enabling me to 
be faithful, in any measure, to suffer such great and mighty 
trials for his name s sake. But if by banishing myself he 
intend the act of civil banishment from their common 
earth and air, I then observe with grief the language of 
tne Dragon m a lamb s lip. Among other expressions of 
the dragon, are not these common to the witnesses of the 
Lord Jesus, rent and torn by his persecutions ? " Go now : 
dr en s p c erse- ~~ sa ^ y ou are persecuted, you are persecuted for Christ, 
chSged by suffer for your conscience : no, it is your schism, heresy, 


to be obstinacy, the devil hath deceived thee, thou hast justly 
of e their own brought this upon thee, thou hast banished thyself," &c. 

persecution. * 

Instances are abundant in so many books of martyrs, and 
the experience of all men, and therefore I spare to recite 
in so short a treatise. 

Secondly, if he mean this civil act of banishing, why 
should he call a civil sentence from the civil state, within 


a few weeks execution, in so sharp a time of New Eng 
land s cold Why should he call this a banishment from 
the churches ? except he silently confess, that the frame monwwdw 
or constitution of their churches is but implicitly national, lenti/con- 

. , ,, . T fessedbyMr. 

which yet they profess against : for otherwise why was I cotton to be 
not yet permitted to live in the world, or commonweal, 
except for this reason, that the commonweal and church is 
yet but one a and he that is banished from the one must 
necessarily be banished from the other also. 


Mr. Cotton. " Let not any prejudice against my person., 
I beseech you, forestal either your affection or judgment, 
as if I had hasted forward the sentence of your civil 
banishment ; for what was done by the magistrates in that 
kind was neither done by my counsel nor consent." 

Answ. Although I desire to hear the voice of God from 
a stranger, an equal, an inferior, yea, an enemy ; yet I p erse cutors 
observe how this excellent man cannot but confess how bodT 
hard it is for any man to do good, to speak effectually to 

men s souls 

the soul or conscience of any whose body he afflicts and good. 

persecutes, and that only for their soul and conscience 

sake. Hence, excellent was the observation of a worthy An excellent 


gentleman in the parliament against the bishops, viz., That j 
the bishops were far from the practice of the Lord Jesus, 
who, together with his word preached to the souls of men, 
showed their bodies so much mercy and loving- kindness ; 
whereas the bishops on the contrary persecute, &c. 

Now to the ground from whence my prejudice might 
arise, he professeth my banishment proceeded not with his 
counsel or consent. I answer, I doubt not but that what mi, L per-* 


Mr. Cotton and others did in procuring my sorrows, was 
re and not without some regret and reluctancy of conscience and 
affection as like it is that David could not procure 
Uriah s death, nor Asa imprison the prophet, with a quiet 
and free conscience. Yet to the particular, that Mr. Cot 
ton consented not, what need he, being not one of the 
civil court ? But that he counselled it, and so consented, 
beside what other proof I might produce, and what himself 
hereunder expresseth, I shall produce a double and un 
answerable testimony. 

First, he publicly taught, and teacheth, except lately 
Christ Jesus hath taught him better, that body-killing, 
it, n &c? tto soul-killing, and state-killing doctrine of not permitting 
but persecuting all other consciences and ways of worship 
but his own in the civil state, and so consequently in the 
whole world, if the power or empire thereof were in his 

jiyateiy 0n Secondly, as at that sentence divers worthy gentlemen 
consciences 6 durst not concur with the rest in such a course, so some 

of some that , -.. ^ , ,, n -i -i 

questioned, that did consent have solemnly testified, and with tears 

whether per- 

coSenc f e r smce * myself confessed, that they could not in their 
\vas lawful. gou } s h ave k een brought to have consented to the sentence, 
had not Mr. Cotton in private given them advice and 
counsel, proving it just and warrantable to their con 

I desire to be as charitable as charity would have me, 
and therefore would hope that either his memory failed 
him, or that else he meant, that in the very time of 
sentence passing he neither counselled nor consented as 
he hath since said, that he withdrew himself and went out 
from the rest probably out of that reluctation which 
before I mentioned ; and yet if so, I cannot reconcile his 
own expression : for thus he goes on : 



Mr. Cotton. "Although I dare not deny the sentence 
passed to be righteous in the eyes of God, who hath said, 
that he that withholdeth the corn, which is the staff of life, 
from the people, the multitude shall curse him, Prov. xi. 26, 
how much more shall they separate such from them as do 
withhold and separate them from the ordinances, or the 
ordinances from them, which are in Christ the bread of 

Answ. I desire to inform the reader why it pleaseth Pr0 v. xi. 26. 
Mr. Cotton to produce this scripture. One of our disputes ture pro- P " 

. duced by 

was concerning the true ministry appointed by the Lord Mr - Cott n 
Jesus. Another was concerning the fitness and qualifica- J^jjf"^ * 
tion of such persons as have right, according to the rules cussed * 
of the gospel, to choose and enjoy such a true ministry of 
the Lord Jesus. Hence because I professed, and do, 
against the office of any ministry but such as the Lord 
Jesus appointeth, this scripture is produced against me. 

Secondly, let this be observed for satisfaction to many Mr. cotton 

... "* satisfies all 

who inquire into the cause of my sufferings, that it pleaseth n 
Mr. Cotton only to produce this scripture for justifying $ 
the sentence as righteous in the eyes of God, implying 
what our chief difference was, and consequently what it 
was for which I chiefly suffered, to wit, concerning the 
true ministry of Christ Jesus. But to the scripture, let 
the people curse such as hoard up corporal or spiritual 
corn, and let those be blessed that sell it: will it therefore T he"wordof 

the Lord is 

follow, that either the one or the other may lawfully be 
sold or bought but with the good will, consent, and S! 
authority of the true owner ? 7 S^lSi 

the Lord. 

1 [" The scope of my letter was, iniquity of his separation." Cotton s 
not to confirm the equity of his Answer, p. 41.] 
banishment, but to convince the 

chief cause 
of my 
banishment . 


Doth not even the common, civil market abhor and 
curse that man, who carries to market and throws about 
good corn against the owner s mind and express command ? 
who yet is willing and desirous it should be sold plen- 
teously, if with his consent, according to his order, and to 
his honest and reasonable advantage? This is the case 
partsThe ^ tne true anc ^ ^ se ministry. Far be it from my soul s 
ap re tl f S rbid- thought to stop the sweet streams of the water of life from 

den to 

preach, and flowing to refresh the thirsty, or the bread of life from 

from others 

to depart, feeding hungry souls : and yet I would not, and the Lord 

shaking off J 

the dust, & c . Jesus would not, that one drop, or one crumb or grain, 
should be unlawfully, disorderly, or prodigally disposed 
of; for, from the scorners, contradicters, despisers, per 
secutors, &c., the apostles, messengers of the Lord Jesus, 
were to turn and to shake off the dust of their feet : yea, 
it pleased the Spirit of the Lord to forbid the apostles to 
preach at all to some places, at some times: so that the 
whole dispose of this spiritual corn, for the persons selling, 
AH the their qualifications, commissions, or callings, the quantities 
a^cord b in S to ^^ qualities of the corn, the price for which, the persons 
ordinance! to whom, the place where, and time when, the great Lord 
of the harvest must express his holy will and pleasure, 
which must humbly and faithfully be attended on. 

In which regard Mr. Cotton deals most partially : for 
would Mr. Cotton himself have preached in Old, or will 
he in New England, with submission but to some few 
ceremonies, as the selling of this spiritual corn in a white 
Mr. cotton coat, a surplice ? Did he not rather choose, which I men- 
choosing tion to the Lord s and Mr. Cotton s honour, to have shut 

rather to 

U P ^ s sac ^ s naouth, to have been silenced (as they call it) 
an( ^ imprisoned, than to sell that heavenly corn otherwise 
than as he was persuaded the Lord appointed ? Yea, hath 
he not in New England refused to admit the children of 
godly parents to baptism, or the parents themselves unto 



the fellowship of the supper, until they came into that 
order which he conceived was the order of the Lord s 
appointing ? 

Again, to descend to human courses, do not all civil men Jjj 
throughout the world, forbid all building, planting, merchan- 

v , n , it , f* 

dizing, marrying, execution of justice, yea, all actions of 
peace or war, but by a true and right commission and in a r 

is according 

to law and 

right order ? Is it not, in this present storm of England s 
sorrows, one of the greatest queries in all the kingdom, who S truly ut 
are the true officers, true commanders, true justices, true J?e tTuT 
commissioners, which is the true seal ? And doubtless as 
truth is but one, so but the one sort is true, and ought to 
be submitted to, and the contrary resisted; although it 
should be granted that the officers questioned and their 
actions were noble, excellent, and beyond exception. 

I judge it not here seasonable to entertain the dispute 
of the true power and call of Christ s ministry: I shall 
only add a word to this scripture, as it is brought to prove 
a righteous sentence of banishment on myself or any that The curse of 
plead against a false office of ministrv. It is true in the israeiof old, 

J is spiritual 

national church of Israel, the then only church and nation 
of God, he that did aught presumptuously was to be 
accursed and to be put to death, Deut. xvii. [12,] a figure 
of the spiritual putting to death an obstinate sinner in the now. 
church of Christ, who refusing to hear the voice of Christ 
is to be cut off from Christ and Christians, and to be 
esteemed as a heathen, that is, a Gentile, or publican, 
Matt, xviii. [17.] Hence, consequently, the not selling, 
or the withholding of corn presumptuously, was death in 
Israel. But Mr. Cotton cannot prove that every wilful 
withholding of corn, in all or any state in the world, and 
that in time of plenty, is death; for as for banishment, 
we never hear of any such course in Israel. 

And secondly, least of all can he prove, that in all civil 


states of the world, that man that pleadeth against a false 
wo rVoVfiie ministry, or that being able to preach Christ and doubting 
yet n ncTnot of the true way of the ministry since the apostacy of anti- 

their call to . /-\ t 

the ministry, christ, dares not practise a ministry. Or that many ex- 
are not to be 

^banished 1 ce ^ ent an( ^ worthy gentlemen, lawyers, physicians, and 
others, as well gifted in the knowledge of the scripture, 
and furnished with the gifts of tongues and utterance, as 
most that profess the ministry, and yet are not persuaded 
to sell spiritual corn, as questioning their true calling and 
commission I say, Mr. Cotton doth not, nor will he ever 
prove that these, or any of these, ought to be put to death 
or banishment in every land or country. 8 

spiritual The selling or withholding of spiritual corn, are both of 

offences are 

only liable a spiritual nature, and therefore must necessarilv in a true 

to a spiritual 

censure. parallel bear relation to a spiritual curse. 9 Paul wishing 
himself accursed from Christ for his countrymen s sake, 
Rom. ix. [3,] he spake not of any temporal death or banish 
ment. Yet nearer, being fitly qualified and truly called by 
be blushed Christ to the ministry, he cries out, 1 Cor. ix. [16,] Woe to 
Neroffolnot me it I preach not the gospel ! yet did not Paul intend, 
[hT g ?spe g i. that therefore the Roman Nero, or any subordinate power 
under him in Corinth, should have either banished or put 
Paul to death, having committed nothing against the civil 
state worthy of such a civil punishment: yea, and Mr. 
Cotton himself seemeth to question the sandiness of such 
a ground to warrant such proceedings, for thus he goes 

8 [" He that shall withdraw or 9 [" If men hinder the enjoyment 
separate the corn from the people, or of spiritual good things, may they not 
the people from the corn; the people be hindered from the enjoyment of 
have just cause to separate either him that which is less, carnal good things ?" 
from themselves, or themselves from Ib. p. 46.] 
him. And this proportion will hold 
as well in spiritual corn as bodily. 
Cotton s Answer, p. 44."| 



Mr. Cotton. " And yet it may be they passed that sen 
tence against you, not upon that ground : but for aught I 
know, for your other corrupt doctrines, which tend to the 
disturbance both of civil and holy peace, as may appear by 
that answer which was sent to the brethren of the church 
of Salem and yourself." 

[ AnsiverJ} I answer, it is no wonder that so manv having Mr< Cotton 

* o himself ig- 

been demanded the cause of my sufferings have answered, l^TauS of 
that they could not tell for what, since Mr. Cotton him- gs! uffer ~ 
self knows not distinctly what cause to assign ; but saith, 
it may be they passed not that sentence on that ground, 
&c. Oh I where was the waking care of so excellent and 
worthy a man, to see his brother and beloved in Christ so 
afflicted, he knows not distinctly for what 1 1 

He allegeth a scripture to prove the sentence righteous, 
and yet concludeth it may be it was not for that, but for 
other corrupt doctrines which he nameth not, nor any 
scripture to prove them corrupt, or the sentence righteous 
for that cause. Oh! that it may please the Father of 
lights to awaken both himself and other of my honoured 
countrymen, to see how though their hearts wake, in re 
spect of personal grace and life of Jesus, yet they sleep, 
insensible of much concerning the purity of the Lord s 
worship, or the sorrows of such, whom they style brethren 
and beloved in Christ, afflicted by them. 

But though he name not these corrupt doctrines, a little 

1 [" I spent a great part of the not to follow him still, . . . whereof 

summer in seeking by word and writ- this very letter is a pregnant and evi- 

ing to satisfy his scruples, until he re- dent demonstration." Cotton s An- 

jected both our callings, and our swer, p. 47.] 
churches. And even then I ceased 


before I have, as they were publicly summed up and 
charged upon me, and yet none of them tending to the 
breach of holy or civil peace, of which I have ever desired 
to be unfeignedly tender, acknowledging the ordinance 
God! es of magistracy to be properly and adequately fitted by God 
to preserve the civil state in civil peace and order, as he 
hath also appointed a spiritual government and governors 
in matters pertaining to his worship and the consciences of 
men ; both which governments, governors, laws, offences, 
punishments, are essentially distinct, and the confounding 
of them brings all the world into combustion. He adds : 


Mr. Cotton. " And to speak freely what I think, were 
my soul in your soul s stead, I should think it a work of 
mercy of God to banish me from the civil society of such 
a commonweal, where I could not enjoy holy fellowship 
with any church of God amongst them without sin. What 
should the daughter of Sion do in Babel, why should she 
not hasten to flee from thence ?" 

Answer. Love bids me hope, that Mr. Cotton here in 
tended me a cordial to revive me in my sorrows : 2 yet, if 
the ingredients be examined, there will appear no less than 
dishonour to the name of God, danger to every civil state, 
a miserable comfort to myself, and contradiction within 

For the last first. If he call the land Babel, mystically, 

2 [" I intended not a cordial of indignation against the dispensation of 
consolation to him, . . . but only a divine justice."" Cotton s Answer, p. 
conviction, to abate the rigour of his 48.] 


which he must needs do or else speak not to the point, 
how can it be Babel, and yet the church of Christ also ? 

Secondly, it is a dangerous doctrine to affirm it a misery 
to live in that state, where a Christian cannot enjoy the 
fellowship of the public churches of God without sin. 
Do we not know many famous states wherein is known no Famous 
church of Jesus Christ ? Did not God command his peo- where y^ , 

* no sound of 

pie to pray for the peace of the material city of Babel, JesusChrist - 
Jer. xxix. [7,] and to seek the peace of it, though no 
church of God in Babel, in the form and order of it ? Or 
did Sodom, Egypt, Babel, signify material Sodom, Egypt, 
Babel ? Rev. xi. 8, and xviii. 2. 

There was a true church of Jesus Christ in material A true 
Babel, 1 Pet. v. 13. Was it then a mercy for all the in- Jesus Christ 

in material 

habitants of Babel to have been banished, whom the church Babylon., 
of Jesus Christ durst not to have received to holy fellow 
ship ? Or was it a mercy for any person to have been 
banished the city, and driven to the miseries of a barbarous 
wilderness, him and his, if some bar had lain upon his 
conscience that he could not have enjoyed fellowship with 
the true church of Christ ? 

Thirdly, for myself, I acknowledge it a blessed gift of J h c e j "^ [ e f 
God to be enabled to suffer, and so to be banished for his 
name s sake : and yet I doubt not to affirm, that Mr. 
Cotton himself would have counted it a mercy if he 
might have practised in Old England what now he doth in 
New, with the enjoyment of the civil peace, safety, and 
protection of the state. 3 

Or should he dissent from the New English churches, 
and join in worship with some other, as some few years 
since he was upon the point to do in a separation from the 

s [" I bless the Lord from my soul out thence, in so fit a season." Cot- 
for his abundant mercy in forcing me ton s Answer, p. 49.] 

C C 


churches there as legal, 4 would he count it a* mercy to be 
n plucked up by the roots, him and his, and to endure the 
countrie s the losses, distractions, miseries that do attend such a condi- 
government tion ? The truth is, both the mother and the daughter, 
abie mp Old and New England for the countries and governments 
are lands and governments incomparable: and might it 
please God to persuade the mother to permit the inhabit 
ants of New England, her daughter, to enjoy their con 
science to God, after a particular congregational way, and 
to persuade the daughter to permit the inhabitants of the 
mother, Old England, to walk there after their conscience 
of a parishional way (which yet neither mother nor 
daughter is persuaded to permit), I conceive Mr. Cotton 
himself, were he seated in Old England again, would not 
count it a mercy to be banished from the civil state. 
Mr. cotton And therefore, lastly, as he casts dishonour upon the 

not having * 

feitthe mise- name o f God, to make Him the author of such cruel mercy, 

nes of others / * 

equaTjudge so had his soul been in my soul s case, exposed to the 
miseries, poverties, necessities, wants, debts, hardships of 
sea and land, in a banished condition, he would, I presume, 
reach forth a more merciful cordial to the afflicted. But 
he that is despised and afflicted, is like a lamp despised in 
the eyes of him that is at ease, Job xii. 5. 

* [Mr. Cotton was at one time to the pastor and some others there, 
much inclined to Antinomianism, than to such as were at that time 
which, in the hands of Mrs. Hutchin- jealous " of him in Boston. A timely 
son, led to no small disturbance in perception of Mrs. Hutchinson a 
New England. He however denied errors led him to renounce her fellow- 
that he wished to separate on the ship, and he remained at Boston, 
ground of the legal teaching of the Neal s Hist, of N. E., i. 183 ; Ma- 
churches with whom he held com- ther s Magnalia, iii. 21 ; Knowles s 
munion, but thought of removing to Life of R. Williams, p. 140.] 
New Haven, " as being better known 



Mr. Cotton. Yea; but he speaks not these things to 
add affliction to the afflicted, but if it were the holy will 
of God to move me to a serious sight of my sin, and of 
the justice of God s hand against it. " Against your corrupt 
doctrines it pleased the Lord Jesus to fight against you, 
with the sword of his mouth, as himself speaketh, Rev. ii., 
in the mouths and testimonies of the churches and brethren, 
against whom, when you overheat yourself in reasoning 
and disputing against the light of his truth, it pleased him 
to stop your mouth by a sudden disease, and to threaten 
to take breath from you : but you, instead of recoiling, 
as even Balaam offered to do in the like case, chose rather 
to persist in the way, and protest against all the churches 
and brethren that stood in your way : and thus the good 
hand of Christ that should have humbled you to see and 
turn from the error of your way, hath rather hardened you 
therein, and quickened you only to see failings, yea, in 
tolerable errors, in all the churches and brethren rather 
than in yourself." 

Answer. In these lines, an humble and discerning spirit 
may espy : first, a glorious justification and boasting of 
himself and others concurring with him. Secondly, an 
unrighteous and uncharitable censure of the afflicted. 

To the first I say no more, but let the light of the holy o f 
lantern of the word of God discover and try with whom J 
the sword of God s mouth, that is, the testimony of the 
holy scripture for Christ against antichrist, abideth. 

And whether myself and such poor witnesses of Jesus same word 

of God. 

Christ in Old and New England, Low Countries, &c., de 
siring in meekness and patience to testify the truth of 

c c 2 


Jesus against all false callings of ministers, &c., or Mr. 
SJhe Utin& Cotton, however in his person holy and beloved, swimming 
persecuted, with the stream of outward credit and profit, and smiting 

belikestto . . 

Balaam. with the fist and sword of persecution such as dare not 
join in worship with him : I say, whether of either be the 
witnesses of Christ Jesus, in whose mouth is the sword of 
his mouth, the sword of the Spirit, the holy word of God, 
and whether is most like to Balaam ? 

e?Bprofe?" ^ the second: his censure. It is true, it pleased God 
cerning n iiis by excessive labours on the Lord s days, and thrice a week 
which Mr. at Salem : by labours day and night in my field with my 
braids to own hands, for the maintenance of mv charge : by travels 

him. J 

also by day and night to go and return from their court, 
and not by overheating in dispute, divers of themselves 
confessing publicly my moderation, it pleased God to bring 
me near unto death ; in which time, notwithstanding the 
mediating testimony of two skilful in physic, I was un 
mercifully driven from my chamber to a winter s flight. 5 
During my sickness, I humbly appeal unto the Father of 
spirits for witness of the upright and constant, diligent 
search my spirit made after him, in the examination of all 
passages, both my private disquisitions with all the chief 
of their ministers, and public agitations of points contro 
verted ; and what gracious fruit I reaped from that sick 
ness, I hope my soul shall never forget. However, I 
ex- m ind not to number up a catalogue of the many censures 

5 ["I have been given to under- him a winter s journey out of the 

stand, that the increase of concourse country." Notwithstanding, Mr. 

of people to him on the Lord s days Cotton asserts that Mr. Williams was 

in private, to the neglect or deserting treated most tenderly by the officer, 

of public ordinances, and to the James Boone, " who dare not allow 

spreading of the leaven of his corrupt that liberty to his tongue, which the 

imaginations, provoked the magis- examiner often useth in this dis- 

trates, rather than to breed a winter s course." Cotton s Answer, p. 57.] 
spiritual plague in the country, to put 


upon God s servants in the time of God s chastisements 
and visitations on them, both in scripture, history, and 
experience. Nor retort the many evils which it pleased 


Grod to bring upon some chief procurers of my sorrows, 
nor upon the whole state immediately after them, which 
many of their own have observed and reported to me ; 
but I commit my cause to him that judgeth righteously, 
and yet resolve to pray against their evils, Ps. cxli. 


Mr. Cotton. " In which course, though you say you do 
not remember an hour wherein the countenance of the 
Lord was darkened to you : yet be not deceived, it is no 
new thing with Satan to transform himself into an angel 
of light, and to cheer the soul with false peace, and with 
flashes of counterfeit consolation. Sad and woeful is the 
memory of Mr. Smith s strong consolation on his death 
bed, which is set as a seal to his gross and damnable 
Arminianism and enthusiasm delivered in the confession 
of his faith, 6 prefixed to the story of his life and death. 
The countenance of God is upon his people when they fear 
him., not when they presume of their own strength, and 
his consolations are not found in the way of precedence 
and error, but in the ways of humility and truth." 

Answer. To that part which concerns myself, the speech 
hath reference either to the matter of justification, or else 
matter of my affliction for Christ, of both which I 
remember I have had discourse. 

6 [" This Confession may be found never yet been able to find." Hist, 
in Crosby, but without the story of of Eng. Baptists, ii. App. No. 1.] 
his life and death, which we have 


A soui at For the first, I have expressed in some conference, as 
God may Mr. Cotton himself hath also related concerning some 

yet endure 

SIS* con" W ^k whom I am not worthy to be named, that after first 

manifestations of the countenance of God, reconciled in 
the blood of his Son unto my soul, my questions and 
trouble have not been concerning my reconciliation and 
peace with God, but concerning sanctification, and fellow 
ship with the holiness of God, in which respect I desire to 
cry, with Paul, in the bitterness of my spirit, O wretched 
man that I am, who shall deliver me from the body of this 
death ? 

Secondly, it may have reference to some conference con 
cerning affliction for his name s sake, in which respect I 
desire to acknowledge the faithfulness of his word and 
promise, to be with his in six troubles and in seven, 
through fire and water, making good a hundred-fold with 
Affliction for persecution to such of his servants as suffer aught for his 
Eweet. names -sake : and I have said and must say, and all God s 
witnesses that have borne any pain or loss for Jesus must 
say, that fellowship with the Lord Jesus in his sufferings 
is sweeter than all the fellowship with sinners in all the 
profits, honours, and pleasures of this present evil world. 
And yet two things I desire to speak to all men and 
myself, Let every man prove his work, Gal. vi. 4., and then 
shall he have rejoicing in himself, and not in another. 
Secondly, if any man love God, that soul knows God, or 
rather is known of God, 1 Cor. viii. 3. Self-love may 
burn the body ; but happy only he whose love alone to 
Christ constrains him to be like unto him, and suffer with 

^diy.Tnd a To that which concerneth Mr. Smith, although I knew 
cotton and him not, and have heard of many points in which my con- 
though left science tells me it pleased the Lord to leave him to him- 

to himself r 

self: yet I have also heard by some, whose testimony Mr. 


Cotton will not easily refuse, that he was a man fearing 
God. 7 And I am sure Mr. Cotton hath made some use of 
those principles and arguments on which Mr. Smith and 
others went, concerning the constitution of the Christian JJj 
church. 8 The infinite compassions of God, which lay no 
sin to David s charge but the sin of Uriah, 1 Kings xv. 5, 

have graciously comforted the souls of his on their death- him. 
bed, accepting and crowning their uprightness and faith 
fulness, and passing by what otherwise is grievous and 
offensive to him. And indeed from the due consideration The opinion 

i -, of putting 

of that instance, it appears that no sin is comparably so umh to^ 
grievous in God s David as a treacherous slaughter of the ^f n s A f s a11 
faithful, whom we are forced to call beloved in Christ. 
That opinion in Mr. Cotton, or any, is the most grievous 
to God or man, and not comparable to any that ever Mr. 
Smith could be charged with. It is true, the countenance 
and consolations of God are found in the ways of humility AS the 

and truth, and Satan transformeth him like to an angel of the sanctu 

ary were 

light in a counterfeit of both : in which respect I desire 
to work out salvation with fear and trembling, and to do 

nothing in the affairs of God and his worship but (like SoSi*. r 
the weights of the sanctuary) with double care, diligence, 

and consideration, above all the affairs of this vanishing 

7 [" As for Mr. Smith he standeth baptists held generally opinions which 

and falleth to his own master. became known after the Synod of 

Whilst he was preacher to the city of Dort as Arminian. In addition to 

Lincoln, he wrought with God then : these Mr. Smith held peculiar views 
what temptations befel him after, by on the nature of spiritual worship, 
the evil workings of evil men, and which brought him into great disre- 

some good men too, I choose rather pute with his fellow exiles, the 
to tremble at, than discourse of." The Brownists and Independents. Cotton s 

fault of this " man fearing God," Answer p. 58, Smith s Differences of 

appears to have been first his be- the Ch. of the Separation, part i. 

coming a baptist, and then his accept- edit. 1608.] 

ance of the opinions of certain Dutch 8 [See Smith s Parallels and Cen- 

baptists, with whom he held com- sures, p. 9, &c. edit. 1609.] 
munion in Amsterdam. The early 


life. And yet Christ s consolations are so sweet, that the 
soul that tasteth them in truth, in suffering for any truth 
of his, will not easily part with them, though thousands 
are deceived and deluded with counterfeits. 


Mr. Cotton. " Two stumbling blocks, I perceive, have 
turned you off from fellowship with us. First, the want 
of fit matter of our church. Secondly, disrespect of the 
separate churches in England under affliction, ourselves 
practising separation in peace." 

" For the first, you acknowledge, as you say with joy, 
that godly persons are the visible members of these 
churches ; but yet you see not that godly persons are 
matter fitted to constitute a church, no more than trees or 
quarries are fit matter proportioned to the building. This 
exception seemeth to me to imply a contradiction to itself, 
for if the matter of the churches be as you say godly 
persons, they are not then as trees unfelled, and stones 
unhewn : godliness cutteth men down from the former 
root, and heweth them out of the pit of corrupt nature, 
and fitteth them for fellowship with Christ and with his 

" You object, first, a necessity lying upon godly men 
before they can be fit matter for church fellowship, to see, 
bewail, repent, and come out of the false churches, 
worship, ministry, government, according to scriptures, 
Isa. Ixii. 11, 2 Cor. vi. 17 ; and this is to be done not by a 
local removal or contrary practice, but by a deliverance of 
the soul, understanding, will, judgment and affection." 

" Answer. First, we grant that it is not local removal 


from former pollution, nor contrary practice, that fitteth 
us for fellowship with Christ and his church ; but that it 
is necessary also that we repent of such former pollutions 
wherewith we have been denied and enthralled." 

"We grant further, that it is likewise necessary to 
church fellowship we should see and discern all such 
pollutions as do so far enthral us to antichrist as to separate 
us from Christ. But this we profess unto you, that 
wherein we have reformed our practice, therein have we 
endeavoured unfeignedly to humble our souls for our 
former contrary walking. If any through hypocrisy are 
wanting herein, the hidden hypocrisy of some will not 
prejudice the sincerity and faithfulness of others, nor the 
church estate of all." 

Answer. That which requireth answer in this passage, 
is a charge of a seeming contradiction, to wit, That 
persons may be godly, and yet not fitted for church 
estate, but remain as trees and quarries, unfelled, &c. : 
Contrary to which it is affirmed, that godly persons cannot 
be so enthralled to antichrist, as to separate them from 

For the clearing of which let the word of truth be 
rightly divided, and a right distinction of things applied, 
there will appear nothing contradictory, but clear and 
satisfactory to each man s conscience. 

First, then, I distinguish of a godly person thus : In ^jj state of , 
some acts of sin which a godly person may fall into, JJSJ in gr e * 
during those acts, although before the all-searching and 
tender eye of God, and also in the eyes of such as are 
godly, such a person remaineth still godly, yet to the eye 
of the world externally such a person seemeth ungodly, 
and a sinner. Thus Noah in his drunkenness; thus 
Abraham, Lot, Samson, Job, David, Peter, in their lying, 
whoredoms, cursings, murder, denying and foreswearing 


of Christ Jesus, although they lost not their inward sap 
and root of life, yet suffered they a decay and fall of leaf, 
anc | the show of bad and evil trees. In such a case Mr. 

sons falling 

s?ns, 8 are s to Cotton will not deny, that a godly person falling into 
drunkenness, whoredom, deliberate murder, denying and 
fors wearing of Christ, the church of Christ cannot 

the church, receive such persons into church fellowship, before their 
sight of humble bewailing and confessing of such evils, 
notwithstanding that love may conceive there is a root of 
godliness within. 

God s chii- Secondly, God s children, Cant. v. 2, notwithstanding a 

dren long 

asleep in principle of spiritual life in their souls, yet are lulled into 

SSp 8 thou h a l n & continued sleep in the matters of God s worship : / 

gracVof 1116 sleep, though my heart waketh. The heart is awake in 

spiritual life and grace, as concerning personal union to 

the Lord Jesus, and conscionable endeavours to please 

him in what the heart is convinced : yet asleep in respect 

of abundant ignorance and negligence, and consequently 

gross abominations and pollutions of worship ; in which 

the choicest servants of God, and most faithful witnesses 

of many truths have lived in more or less, yea, in main 

and fundamental points, ever since the apostacy. 

Mr. cotton Not to instance in all, but in some particulars which 

fessesto Mr. Cotton hath in New England reformed: I earnestly 


Beseech himself and all well to ponder how far he himself 
manyagea now professeth to see and practise, that which so many 
seen. 110 thousands of godly persons of high note, in all ages, since 
the apostacy, saw not : as, 

First, concerning the nature of a particular church, to 
consist only of holy and godly persons. 

Secondly, of a true ministry called by that church. 

Thirdly, a true worship free from ceremonies, common- 
prayer, &c. 

Fourthly, a true government in the hands only of such 



governors and elders as are appointed by the Lord Jesus. 
Hence God s people not seeing their captivity in these 
points, must first necessarily be enlightened and called out 
from such captivity before they can be nextly fitted and 
prepared for the true church, worship, ministry, &c. 


Secondly, this will be more clear, if we consider God s T he Jews or 

* 9 old in the 

people and church of old, the Jews, captivated in material 
Babel, they could not possibly build God s altar and l 
temple at Jerusalem, until the yoke and bonds of their tot they 

. must come 

captivity were broken, and they set free to return with forth and 

* then build 

the vessels of the Lord s house, to set up his worship in J^ eruBa 
Jerusalem : as we see in the books of Ezra, Nehemiah, 
Daniel, Haggai, &c. Hence in the antitype, God s people, God s mysti- 

the spiritual and mystical Jews, cannot possibly erect the 
altar of the Lord s true worship, and build the temple of of 
his true church, without a true sight of their spiritual can 6 bufid 
bondage in respect of God s worship, and a power and atJerUSa- 6 


strength from Jesus Christ to bring them out, and carry 
them through all difficulties in so mighty a work. And 
as the being of God s people in material Babel, and a 
necessity of their coming forth before they could build the 
temple, did not in the least deny them to be God s people: 
no more now doth God s people being in mystical Babel, 
(Rev. xviii.) nor the necessity of their coming forth, hinder 
or deny the godliness of their persons, or spiritual life 
within them. 

Thirdly, how many famous servants of God and wit- Luther and 

other famous 

nesses of Jesus, lived and died and were burnt for other witnesse s 

very gross 

truths of Jesus, not seeing the evil of their anti-christian 


ca ll m g f bishops, &c. ! How did famous Luther himself 
continue a monk, set forth the German mass, acknowledge 
the pope, and held other gross abominations concerning 
God s worship, notwithstanding the life of Christ Jesus in 
him, and wrought in thousands by his means. 
Mr. cotton Fourthly. Mr. Cotton must be requested to remember 

refuseth . . 

sons y exce" t ^ s owu practice, &s before ; how doth he refuse to receive 
persons eminent for personal grace and godliness to the 
Lord s supper, and other privileges of Christians, accord 
ing to the profession of their church estate, until they be 
convinced of the necessity of making and entering into a 
church covenant with them, with a confession of faith, &c.; 
and if any cannot be persuaded of such a covenant and 
confession, notwithstanding their godliness, yet are they 
not admitted. 9 

and fhe ton Lastly, how famous is that passage of that solemn ques- 
tion put to Mr. Cotton and the rest of the New English 

eminent 1 * elders, by divers of the ministers of Old England, eminent 

ministers _ _ . 

and people for personal godliness, as Mr. Cotton acknowledgeth, viz., 
Wnetner they might be permitted in New England to 

en jy their consciences in a church estate different from 
fe?setV?heir the New English ; unto which Mr. Cotton and the New 
above "MS English elders return a plain negative, in effect thus much, 
join not in with the acknowledgment of their worth and godliness 

his church 

fellowship. a bove their own, and their hopes of agreement; yet in 
conclusion, if they agree not, which they are not t like to 
do, and submit to that way of church-fellowship and wor 
ship which in New England is set up, they cannot only 
not enjoy church-fellowship together, but not permit them 
to live and breathe in the same air and commonweal to 
gether; 1 which was my case, although it pleased Mr. 

9 [" It is not because I think such fit form, requisite to church estate." 
persons are not fit matter for church- Cotton s Answer, p. 63.] 
estate; but because they yet want a 1 [" The answer to that question 


Cotton and others most incensed to give myself a testi 
mony of godliness, &c. 2 And this is the reason why, 
although I confess with joy the care of the New English 
churches that no person be received to fellowship with 
them, in whom they cannot first discern true regeneration 
and the life of Jesus, yet I said, and still affirm, that godly 
and regenerate persons, according to all the former in 
stances and reasons, are not fitted to constitute the true 
Christian church, until it hath pleased God to convince 
their souls of the evil of the false church, ministry, wor 
ship, &c. And although I confess that godly persons are Godly per- 

1 1 1 T 1 1 1 T 1 S nS l iv n 

not dead but living; trees, not dead but living stones, and trees and 


need no new regeneration (and so in that respect need no 
felling nor digging out), yet need they a mighty work 
God s Spirit to humble and ashame them, and to cause 

them to loathe themselves for their abominations or stinks ship. 
in God s nostrils, as it pleaseth God s Spirit to speak of 
false worships. Hence, Ezek. xliii. 1 1 : God s people are 
not fit for God s house until holy shame be wrought in 
them for what they have done. Hence God promiseth to 
cause them to loathe themselves, because they have broken 
him with their whorish hearts, Ezek. vi. 9. And hence it 

and to all the other thirty-two ques- was compelled to recant some words/ 

tions, were drawn up by Mr. Mader One of his friends for being active in 

however, the substance of that his election was fined 10, and utter- 

answer doth generally suit with all ing some cross words, 5 more, u and 

our minds, as I conceive. 1 have payed it down." P. 22.] 

read it, and did readily approve it to a [" It was his doctrines and prac- 

be judicious and solid. But his tices which tended to the civil dis- 

answer ... is notoriously slandered turbance of the commonwealth, toge" 

and abused by the examiner." Cot- ther with his heady and busy pursuit 

ton s Answer, p. 63. Lechford, in his of the same, even to the rejection of 

"Plain Dealing," &c., however tells all churches here; these they were 

us of a minister, who " standing upon that made him unfit for enjoying 

his ministry as of the church of Eng- communion in the one state or in the 

land, and arguing against their cove- other." Cotton s Answer, p. 64.] 
nant, and being elected at Weymouth, 


naye known some precious godly hearts confess, 
that the plucking of their souls out from the abominations 
of false worship, hath been a second kind of regeneration. 

tion to God s t 7 i # .1 ]rt i i 

people. Hence was it, that it pleased God to say concerning his 
people s return from their material captivity, a figure of our 
spiritual and mystical, that they should not say, Jehovah 
liveth who brought them from the land of Egypt a type 
of first conversion as is conceived ; but, Jehovah liveth who 

5?iad f of m brings them from the land of the north a type of God s 
rt people s return from spiritual bondage to confused and 
invented worships. 


Now whereas Mr. Cotton addeth, that godly persons are 
not so enthralled to anti-christ as to separate them from 
Christ, else they could not be godly persons : 

I answer, this comes not near our question, which is not 
concerning personal godliness or grace of Christ, but the 
godliness or Christianity of worship. Hence the scripture 
holds forth Christ Jesus first personally, as that God-man, 
*^ at one Mediator between God and man, the man Christ 
Jesus, whom all God s people by faith receive, and in 
people can 8 receiving become the sons of God, John i. 12, although 

never be 

y et see n t the particular ways of his worship. Thus 
was it with the centurion, the woman of Canaan, Corne 
lius, and most, at their first conversion. 

head n o d f ly hif Secondly, the scripture holdeth forth Christ as head of 
church, formed into a body of worshippers, in which 

absent from respect the church is called Christ, 1 Cor. xii. 12: and the 

bis SPOUSG. 

description of Christ is admirably set forth in ten several 


parts of a man s body, fitting and suiting to the visible 
profession of Christ in the church, Cant. v. 

Now in the former respect, anti-christ can never so 
enthral God s people as to separate them from Christ, that 
is, from the life and grace of Christ, although he enthral 
them into never so gross abominations concerning worship: 
for God will not lose his in Egypt, Sodom, Babel. His 
jewels are most precious to him though in a Babylonish 
dunghill, and his lily sweet and lovely in the wilderness 
commixed with briars. Yet in the second respect, as God s people 
Christ is taken for the church, I conceive that anti-christ a false Christ 

and the true 

may separate God s people from Christ, that is, from together. 
Christ s true visible church and worship. 3 This Mr. Cot 
ton himself will not deny, if he remember how little a 
while it is since the falsehood of a national, provincial, 
diocesan, and parishional church, &c., and the truth of a 
particular congregation, consisting only of holy persons, 
appeared unto him. 

The papists question to the protestant, viz., where was ? r c e hurch 
your church before Luther ? is thus well answered, to wit, Luther - 
that since the apostacy, truth and the holy city, according 
to the prophecy, Rev. xi. and xiii., have been trodden Bev . x m. 
under foot, and the whole earth hath wondered after the 
beast: yet God hath stirred up witnesses to prophesy in 
sackcloth against the beast, during his forty-two months 
reign: yet those witnesses have in their times, more or 
less submitted to anti-christ and his church, worship, 
ministry, &c., 4 and so consequently have been ignorant of 

3 [" His distinction, in the general as head of the visible church." 

I do approve it, and do willingly Cotton s Answer, p. 66.] 

acknowledge that a godly person may 4 [" What if ecclesiastical stories 

be, through ignorance or negligence, be deficient in telling us the times 

so far enthralled to anti-christ, as to and places of their church assemblies ? 

be separate from Christ, taking Christ Is therefore the word of God defi- 


the true Christ, that is, Christ taken for the churchin the 
true profession of that holy way of worship, which he 
himself at first appointed. 


Mr. Cotton. (( Secondly, we deny that it is necessary to 
church fellowship, that is, so necessary that without it a 
church cannot be, that the members admitted thereunto 
should all of them see and expressly bewail all the pollu 
tions which they have been defiled with in the former 
church fellowship, ministry, worship, government, &c., if 
they see and bewail so much of their former pollutions, as 
did enthral them to anti-christ so as to separate them 
from Christ, and be ready in preparation of heart, as they 
shall see more light, so to hate more and more every false 
way ; we conceive it is as much as is necessarily required 
to separate them from anti-christ, and to fellowship with 
Christ and his churches. The church of Christ admitted 
many thousand Jews that believed on the name of Christ, 
although they WQYQ still zealous of the law, and saw not 
the beggarly emptiness of Moses s ceremonies, Acts xxi. 
20 ; and the apostle Paul directeth the Romans to receive 
such unto them as are weak in the faith, and see not their 
liberty from the servile difference of meats and days, but 
still lie under the bondage of the law; yea, he wisheth 
them to receive such upon this ground, because Christ 
hath received them, Rom. xiv. 1 to the 6th." 

cient, or the church deficient, because denses, or men of that way, have 

human stories are deficient ? . . Yet been extant a tempore apostolorum." 

sometimes their own inquisitors con- Cotton s Answer, p. 69.] 
fess, that the churches of the Wai- 


" Say not, there is not the like danger of lying under 
bondage to Moses as to anti-christ : for even the bondage 
under Moses was such, as if continued in after instruction 
and conviction, would separate them from Christ, Gal. v. 2, 
and bondage under anti-christ could do no more." 

Answ. Here I desire three things may be observed : 

First, Mr. Cotton s own confession of that twofold Mr. cotton 


church estate, worship, &c., the former false, or else why JJj^Jjyjj 1 
to be so bewailed and forsaken ? the second true, to be 1 th 

embraced and submitted to. 

Secondly, his own confession of that which a little 
before he would make so odious in me to hold, viz., that hecenaureth 
God s people may be so far enthralled to anti-christ, as to rawera 
separate them from Christ : for, saith he, " If they see 
and bewail so much of their former pollutions, as did 
enthral them to anti-christ, so as to separate them from 
Christ." 5 

Thirdly, I observe how easily a soul may wander in his Fallacy in 

" J J Mr. Cotton s 

generals, for thus he writes : " Though they see not all the s enerals - 
pollutions wherewith they have been denied in the former 
church fellowship." Again, " if they see so much as did 
enthral them to anti-christ, and separate them from 
Christ." And yet he expresseth nothing of that, " all the A g dl y per- 

* son remain- 

pollutions," nor what so much is as will separate them from j^f. l m ~ 
Christ. Hence upon that former distinction that Christ 

in visible worship is Christ, I demand, whether if a godly false Christ. 
person remain a member of a falsely constituted church, 
and so consequently, in that respect, of a false Christ, 

3 ["My words are misreported : godly persons. God s people may be 

and the contradiction ariseth from his so enthralled to anti-christ, as to sepa- 

misreport. For God s people and rate them utterly from Christ, both 

godly persons are not all one. Any as head of the visible and invisible 

church members may be called God s church; but godly persons cannot be 

people, as being in external covenant S o enthralled." Cotton s Answer, 

with him, and yet they are net always p. 71 .] 

D D 


whether in visible worship he be not separate from the 

true Christ ? 

Secondly, I ask, whether it be not absolutely necessary 
es- to n * s uniting with the true church, that is, with Christ in 
be true Christian worship, that he see and bewail, and abso- 

tme. lutely come out from that former false church or Christ, 
and his ministry, worship, &c., before he can be united to 
the true Israel must come forth of Egypt before they 
sacr ifi ce to God in the wilderness. The Jews come 
out of Babel Before they build the temple in Jerusalem. 
the idoul? m The husband of a woman [must] die, or she be legally 
invented divorced, before she can lawfully be married to another; 

worships of 

it, before it the graft cut off from one before it can be ingrafted into 

can be pre- 

another stock. The kingdom of Christ, that is, the king- 
dom of the saints, Dan. ii. and vii., is cut out of the 
bedof a his mountain of the Roman monarchy. Thus the Corinthians, 
hoiy institu- 1 Cor. yi. 9 1 1, uniting with Christ Jesus, they were 

tions. . . . 

washed from their idolatry, as well as other sins. Thus 
the Thessalonians turned from their idols before they 
could serve the living and true God, 1 Thess. i. 9 ; and as 
in paganism, so in anti-christianism, which separates as 
certainly, though more subtilly, from Christ Jesu. 


Yea ; but it is said, that Jews, weak in Christian liber 
ties, and zealous for Moses s law, they were to be received. 

I answer, two things must here carefully be minded : 
Difference First, although bondage to Moses would separate from 
God-sown Christ, yet the difference must be observed between those 

holy institu- 

ordinances of Moses which it pleased God himself to 
ordain and appoint, as his then only worship in the world, 


though now in the coming of his Son he was pleased to 

. Til 

take away, yet with solemnity ; and on the other side, the tion to th 

* J J Gentiles, as 

institutions and ordinances of anti-christ, which the devil 
himself invented, were from first to last never to be fo 

received and submitted to one moment, nor with such th 
solemnity to be laid down, but to be abhorred and 
abominated for ever. 

The national church of the Jews, with all the shadow- A com- 
ish, typical ordinances of kings, priests, prophets, temple, ?ween n the e 
sacrifices, were as a silver candlestick, on which the light Christian 


of the knowledge of God and the Lord Jesus, in the type 
and shadow, was set up and shined. That silver candle 
stick it pleased the Most Holy and Only Wise to take 
away, and instead thereof to set up the golden candle 
sticks of particular churches (Rev. i.) by the hand of the 
Son of God himself. Now the first was silver, the pure 
will and mind of God, but intended only for a season ; the 
second of a more precious, lasting nature, a kingdom not 
to be shaken, that is, abolished as the former, Heb. xii. 

Therefore, secondly, observe the difference of time, Moses s or- 
which Mr. Cotton himself confesseth: "after instruction and 
conviction," saith he, " Moses s law was deadly, and would holy, at 

another time 

separate from Christ ;" therefore, there was a time when Beggarly and 


they were not deadly, and did not separate from Christ, 
to wit, until Moses was honourably fallen asleep, and 
lamented for as I conceive in the type and figure thirty 
days, Deut. xxxiv. [8.] Therefore, at one season, not for 
Timothy s weak conscience, but for the Jews sake, Paul 
circumcised Timothy : at another time, when the Jews 
had sufficient instruction, and obstinately would be cir 
cumcised, and that necessarily to salvation, Paul season 
ably cries out, that if they were circumcised Christ should 
profit them nothing, Gal. v. [2.1 Hence, the Christians at The first 

D D 2 


Ephesus conversed with the Jewish synagogue until the 
synagogues Jews contradicted and blasphemed, and then were speedily 
jews con- separated by Paul, Acts xix. [9.] But to apply, Paul 

and spoke observed a vow, and the ceremonies of it, circumcised 
then they Timothy, &c.; may therefore a messenger of Christ now, 
as Paul, go to mass, pray to saints, perform penance, keep 
Christmas and other popish feasts and fasts ? &c. 

Again, is there such a time allowed to any man, uniting 
or adding himself to the true church now, to observe the 
unholy holy days of feasting and fasting invented by anti 
christ? Yea, and, as Paul did circumcision, to practise 
e er the P pi sn sacraments ? I doubt not ; but if any member 

ingTn h to fa any of a true church or assembly of worshippers, shall fall to 
practice^not any paganish or popish practice, he must be instructed and 

presently to . , . 

be excom- convinced before excommunication : but the question is, 


whether still observing and so practising, a person may be 
received to the true Christian church, as the Jews were, 
although they yet practised Moses s ceremonies ? 

These things duly pondered, in the fear and presence of 
God, it will appear how vain the allegation is, from that 
tender and honourable respect to God s ordinances now 
vanishing from the Jews, and their weak consciences 
about the same, to prove the same tenderness to Satan s 
inventions, and [to] the consciences of men in the re 
nouncing of paganical, Turkish, anti- Christian, yea, and I 
add Judaical worships now, when once the time of their 
full vanishing was come. 

N reeof e 8 i d ht ^ conc ^ u ^ e 5 although I prescribe not such a measure 
^ sight of, or sorrow for anti-christian abominations I 
speak in respect of degrees, which it pleaseth the Father 

necessity o? of lights to dispense variously, to one more, to another 

cutting off 

from the less yet, I believe it absolutely necessary to see and 
Sue church 6 ^ ewau so much as may amount to cut off the soul from 
tne fa* 86 church, whether national, parishional, or any 


other falsely constituted church, ministry, worship, and 
government of it. 6 


Mr. Cotton. " Ans. 3. To places of scripture which you 
object, Isa. lii. 11 ; 2 Cor. vi. 17 ; Rev. xviii. 4, we answer, 
two of them make nothing to your purpose : for that of 
Isaiah and the other of the Revelation, speak of local 
separation, which yourself know we have made, and yet 
you say, you do not apprehend that to be sufficient. As 
for that place of the Corinthians, it only requireth. coming 
out from idolaters in the fellowship of their idolatry. No 
marriages were they to make with them, no feasts were 
they to hold with them in the idol s temple : no intimate 
familiarity were they to maintain with them, nor any 
fellowship were they to keep with them in the unfruitful 
works of darkness; and this is all which that place re 
quireth. But what makes all this to prove, that we may 
not" receive such persons to church fellowship as yourself 
confess to be godly, and who do professedly renounce and 
bewail all known sin, and would renounce more if they 
knew more, although it may be they do not see the utmost 
skirts of all that pollution they have sometimes been 
defiled with: as the patriarchs saw not the pollution of 

6 [" He requireth that we should If he speak of the national church 

cut off ourselves from hearing the government, we must confess the 

ministry of the parishes in England, truth, there indeed is truth fallen and 

as being the ministry of a national, falsehood hath prevailed much. All 

or parishional church, whereof both of them are forsaken of Truth, and can 

the church estate is falsely consti- challenge no warrant of truth but 

tuted, and all the ministry, worship, falsely." Cotton s Answer, pp. 77, 

and government thereof false also. 84.] 


their polygamy. But that you may plainly see this place 
is wrested beside the apostle s scope when you argue from 
it, that such persons are not fit matter for church fellow 
ship as are denied with any remnants of anti-christian 
pollution, nor such churches any more to be accounted 
churches as do receive such amongst them : consider, I 
pray you, were there not at that time in the church of 
Corinth such as partook with the idolaters in the idol s 
temple ? And was not this the touching of an unclean 
thing? And did this sin reject these members from 
church fellowship before conviction ? Or did it evacuate 
their church estate for not casting out such members ?" 

Answ. The scriptures, or writings of truth, are those 
heavenly righteous scales wherein all our controversies 
must be tried, and that blessed star that leads all those 
souls to Jesus that seek him. But, saith Mr. Cotton, two 
of those scriptures alleged by me, Isa. lii. 11, Rev. xviii. 4, 
which I brought to prove a necessity of leaving the false 
before a joining to the true church, they speak of local 
separation, which, saith he, yourself know we have made. 7 
Mr. cotton J" r that local and typical separation from Babylon, Isa. 

cannot make 

comings lii- [HJ ^ cou ld not well have believed that Mr. Cotton 
Babei^both o r any would make that coming forth of Babel in the 
andanti- pe antitype, Rev. xviii. 4, to be local and material also. 

type, to be * . ._ . . , 

local. What civil state, nation, or country in the world, in the 
antitype, must now be called Babel ? Certainly, if any, 
then Babel itself properly so called ; but there we find, as 
before, a true church of Jesus Christ, 1 Pet. v. [13.] 

if a local Secondly, if Babel be local now whence God s people 

Babel, then L r 

also now a are called, then must there be a local Judea, a land of 

7 [" If the examiner had been that place in Isaiah, or this in Reve- 

pleased to have read Mr. Brightman lation, of a local separation." Cot- 

on Rev. xviii. 4, he might find I was ton s Answer, p. 87.] 
not the first that interpreted either 

e f 



Canaan also, into which they are called ; and where shall 
both that Babel and Canaan be found in all the comings 
forth that have been made from the church of Rome in but mystical! 
these last times? But Mr. Cotton having made a local 
departure from Old England in Europe to New England 
in America, can he satisfy his own soul, or the souls of 
other men, that he hath obeyed that voice, <f Come out of 
Babel, my people, partake not of her sins," &c ? Doth he 
count the very land of England literally Babel, and so 
consequently Egypt and Sodom, Rev. xi. 8, and the land 
of New England Judea, Canaan ? &c. 

The Lord Jesus, John iv., clearly breaks down all T ^e Lord 

Jesus hath 

difference of places, and, Acts x. 5 all difference of persons ; 
and for myself, I acknowledge the land of England, the p" a c c e e 
civil laws, government, and people of England, not to be pe 
inferior to any under heaven. Only two things I shall 
humbly suggest unto my dear countrymen, whether more 
high and honourable at the helm of government, or more 
inferior, who labour and sail in this famous ship of Eng 
land s commonwealth, as the greatest causes, fountains, 
and top roots of all the indignation of the Most High 
against the state and country ; first, that the whole nation 
and generations of men have been forced, though unre- J^J be 
generate and unrepentant, to pretend and assume the ^akJ proof 
name of Christ Jesus, which only belongs, according to 
the institution of the Lord Jesus, to truly regenerate and 
repenting souls. Secondly, that all others dissenting from 
them, whether Jews or Gentiles, their countrymen espe 
cially, for strangers have a liberty, have not been per 
mitted civil cohabitation in this world with them, but have 
been distressed and persecuted by them. 8 

8 [" The two causes of God s in- I should so assent to the latter, as 

dignation against England I would not to move for a toleration of all 

rather say Amen to them, than dissenters, dissenters in fundamen- 

weaken the weight of them. Only tals." Cotton s Answer, p. 89.] 


Iapti S vity S to But to return ; the sum of my controversy with Mr. 
SfpiTnot Cotton is, whether or no that false worshipping of the 
gu C itt, > and a true God be not only a spiritual guilt liable to God s 

not only so, 

but a habit sentence and plagues, but also an habit, frequently com- 
SuaiKp, P ared in the P r P nets J an(i Rev. xvii., to a spirit and 
drunken-" disposition of spiritual drunkenness and whoredom, a soul- 
sleep and a soul-sickness : so that as by the change of a 
chair, chamber, or bed, a sick or sleepy man, whore or 
drunkard, are not changed, but they remain the same still, 
until that disposition of sickness, sleepiness, drunkenness, 
whoredom be put off; and a new habit of spiritual health, 
watchfulness, sobriety, chastity be put on. 


Now concerning that scripture, 2 Cor. vi., Mr. Cotton 
here confesseth it holdeth forth five things that the 
repenting Corinthians were called out in, from the unre - 
penting : 

First, in the fellowship of their idolatry. 

2. From making marriages with them. 

3. From feasting in their idols temples. 

4. From intimate familiarity with them. 

5. From all fellowship in the unfruitful works of dark 



Answ. If regenerate and truly repenting English thus 

penting p , 

English, come forth from the unregenerate and unrepentino-, how 

their coming 

thfhi r peni- would the name of tn e Lord Jesus be sanctified, the 
tati,^ U * h J ealous y f the Lord pacified, their own souls cleansed, 
paScuiars judgments prevented, yea, and one good means practised 
by Mr. cot- toward the convincing and saving of the souls of such 

ton. f 1 i 

irom whom in these particulars they depart, and dare not 


have fellowship with: especially when in all civil things 
they walk unblameably, in quiet and helpful cohabitation, 
righteous and faithful dealing, and cheerful submission to 
civil laws, orders, levies, customs, &c. 

Yea; but Mr. Cotton demands, what makes all this to 
prove that godly persons, who professedly renounce all 
known sin, may not be received to church fellowship, 
although they see not the utmost skirts of their pollution, 
as the patriarchs saw not the pollution of their polygamy ? 

Answ. I repeat the former distinction of godly persons, The sins of 

i -11 T n , 11 _ God s people 

who possibly may live in ungodly practices, especially ofaresome- 

. times re- 

false worship, and then, according to Mr. Cotton s own P uted to be 

of ignorance 

interpretation of this place to the Corinthians, they came 
not forth. And I add, if there be any voice of Christ in y 
the mouths of his witnesses against these sins, they are 

not then of ignorance, but of negligence, and spiritual 
hardness, against the ways of God s fear, against Isa. Ixiii. 
[17,] &c. 

Moreover, our question is not of the utmost skirts of 
pollution, but the substance of a true or false bed of wor 
ship, Cant. i. 16, in respect of coming out of the false, 
before the entrance into the true. And yet I believe that A case put 
Mr. Cotton being to receive a person to church fellowship, ton. 
who formerly hath been infamous for corporal whoredom, 
he would not give his consent to receive such an one 
without sound repentance for the filthiness of her skirts, 
Lam. i. [9 ? ] not only in actual whoredoms, but also in 
whorish speeches, gestures, appearances, provocation. 
And why should there be a greater strictness for the NO cause of 

. . more shame 

skirts of common whoredom than of spiritual and soul for wh ie- 

1 dom against 

whoredom, against the chastity of God s worship ? And 
therefore to that instance of the fathers polygamy, I 
answer : first, by observing what great sins godly persons w< 
may possibly live and long continue in, notwithstanding 


poiygamy?or godliness in the root. Secondly, I ask if any person, of 
S*he wr 1S whose godliness Mr. Cotton hath had long persuasion, 
should believe and maintain, as questionless the fathers 
had grounds satisfying their consciences for what they 
did, that he ought to have many wives, and accordingly 
so practised: I say, I ask, whether Mr. Cotton would 
receive such a godly person to church fellowship ? yea, I 
ask, whether the church of the Jews, had they seen this 
evil, would have received such a proselyte from the Gen 
tiles? and when it was seen, whether any persons so 
practising would have been suffered amongst them ? But, 
lastly, what was this personal sin of these godly persons ? 
Was it any matter of God s worship, any joining with a 
false church, ministry, worship, government, from whence 
they were to come, before they could constitute his true 
church, and enjoy his worship, ministry, government? 

Mr. Cotton concludeth this passage thus : " The church 
of Corinth had such as partook with idolaters in their 
idols temple, and was not this," saith he, " touching of an 
unclean thing, and did this reject these members from 
church fellowship before conviction? and did it evacuate 
their church estate for not casting out such members ?" 

Answ. This was an unclean thing indeed, from which 
God calls his people in this place, with glorious promises 
of receiving them : and Mr. Cotton confesseth that after 
conviction any member, obstinate in these unclean touches, 
ought to be rejected ; for, said he, did this sin reject these 
members from church fellowship before conviction ? 

not e a s r c eb e ei h ^ nC * u ^ ou ^ ie same g rounc ^ tnat one obstinate person 
i ou ht to be re Jected out of church estate, upon the same 
g r und, if a greater company or church were obstinate in 

idolatrous sucn unclean touches, and so consequently in a rebellion 
destroyed, against Christ, ought every sound Christian church to 


reject them, and every sound member to withdraw from 

And hence further it is clear, that if such unclean obstinacy 

that casteth 

touches obstinately maintained, as Mr. Cotton confesseth Jeep^ 
and practiseth, be a ground of rejection of a person in the 

church, questionless it is a ground of rejection when such jecuin his 
persons are to join unto the church. And if obstinacy in 
the whole church after conviction be a ground for such a 
church s rejection, questionless such a church or number of 
persons obstinate in such evils cannot congregate, nor 
become a true constituted church of Jesus Christ. 

The greatest question here would be, whether the ^coSS* 
Corinthians in their first constitution were separate or no 1*52^ 
from such idol temples ? and this Mr. Cotton neither doth K 

. a chaste 

nor can denv, a church estate being a state of marriage virgin to 

* Christ. 

unto Jesus Christ ; and so Paul professedly saith, he had 
espoused them as a chaste virgin to Christ Jesus, 2 Cor. 
xi. [2.] 


Mr. Cotton proceeds to answer some other allegations 
which I produced from the confession of sin made by 
John s disciples, and the proselyte Gentiles before they 
were admitted into church fellowship, Matt. iii. 6; Acts 
xix. 1 8, unto which he returneth a threefold answer : 
" The first is grounded upon his apparent mistake of my 
words in a grant of mine, viz., such a confession and 
renunciation is not absolutely necessary, if the substance 
of true repentance be discerned. Whence," saith he, 
" according to your own confession, such persons as have 
the substance of true repentance may be a true church." 


The sub- I answer, it is clear in the progress of the whole con- 
true general troversy, that I ever intend by the substance of true 

rarvm-i t n n no * * 

in all Go. 

in aii God s repentance, not that general grace of repentance which all 

iiving in God s people have, as Luther, a monk, and going to, yea, 
publishing the German mass, and those famous bishops 

false wor- burnt for Christ in Q.ueen Mary s days ; but that 

ship, minis 

try, & c . substance of repentance for those false ways of worship, 

church, ministry, &c., in which God s people have lived, 

although the confessing and renouncing of them be not so 

particularly expressed, and with such godly sorrow and 

indignation as some express, and may well become : And 

indeed the whole scope of that caution was for Christian 

moderation and gentleness toward the several sorts of 

Not the same God s people, professing particular repentance for their 

Sees e of nd spiritual captivity and bondage ; during which captivity 

ln P &S. an B also, I readily acknowledge the substance of repentance, 

and of all the graces of Christ in general. 

Mr. cotton. In his second answer, Mr. Cotton saith, I " grant with 
the one hand, and take away with the other ; for he denies 
it necessary to the admission of members, that every one 
should be convinced of the sinfulness of every sipping of 
the whore s cup, for, saith he, { every sipping of a 
drunkard s cup is not sinful." 
some have Answer. First he doth not rightly allege my words ; for 

of "he e< p a little before he confesseth my words to be, that anti- 

whore s cup, 

and some christian drunkenness and whoredom is to be confessed of 

but sipped 

cated ntcxi " a ^ SUC ^ as nave drunk of the whore s cup, or but sipped of 
it. In which words I plainly distinguished between such 
as have drunk deeper of her cup, as papists, popish priests, 
&c., and such, as in comparison have but sipped, as God s 
own people ; who yet by such sipping have been so in 
toxicated, as to practice spiritual whoredom against Christ, 
in submitting to false churches, ministry, worship, &c. 

Secondly, whereas he saith every sipping of a drun 
kard s cup is not sinful : 


I answer : neither the least sipping, nor constant 
drinking out of the cup which a drunkard useth to drink 
in, is sinful ; but every drunken sip, which is our question, 
is questionless sinful, and so consequently to be avoided 
by the sober, whether the cup of corporal or spiritual 


Mr. Cotton. " Yea; but," saith he, - the three thousand Mr - Cotton - 
Jews were admitted when they repented of their murder 
ing of Christ, although they never saw all the superstitious 
leavenings wherewith the Pharisees had bewitched them : 
and so no doubt may godly persons now, although they be 
not yet convinced of every passage of antichristian super 
stition, &c. ; and that upon this ground, that spiritual 
whoredom and drunkenness is not so soon discerned as 

[Answer. ~\ I answer, it is not indeed so easily discerned, 
and yet not the less sinful, but infinitely transcendent, as 
much as spiritual sobriety exceeds corporal, and the bed of 
the most high God, exceeds the beds of men, who are but 
dust and ashes. 

Secondly, I answer, the converted Jews, although they 
saw not all the leavenings of the Pharisees, yet they a 
mourned for killing of Christ, and embraced him in his 
worship, ministry, government, and were added to his 
church : and oh ! that the least beams of light and sparkles 
of heat were in mine own, and others souls, which were 
kindled by the Holy Spirit of God in those famous converts 
at the preaching of Peter, Acts ii. The true Christ now 
in his worship, ministry, &c. being discerned, and repent- 

414 MR. 

The power ance for persecuting and killing of him being expressed, 
pentance for there necessarily follows a withdrawing from the church, 

killing of J t e 

Christ. ministry, and worship of the false Christ, and submission 
unto the true : and this is the sum and substance of our 

Mr. cotton. Concerning the confession of sins unto John, he grants 
the disciples of John confessed their sins, the publicans 
theirs, the soldiers theirs, the people theirs ; but, saith he, 
"it appears not that they confessed their pharisaical 

And concerning the confession Acts xix. 18, [19,] he 
saith, it is not expressed " that they confessed all their 

Answer. If both these confessed their notorious sins, as 
Mr. Cotton expresseth, why not as well their notorious 
sins against God, their idolatries, superstitious worships, 
&c ? Surely throughout the whole scripture, the matters 
of God and his worship are first and most tenderly handled; 
his people are ever described by the title of his wor 
shippers, and his enemies by the title of worshippers of 
false gods, and worshipping the true after a false manner ; 
and to prove this were to bring forth a candle to the 
bright shining of the sun at noon day. 


Mr. Cotton. His third answer is ; " But to satisfy you 
more fully, and the Lord make you willing in true meek 
ness of spirit to receive satisfaction, the body of the 
members do in general profess, that the reason of their 
coming over to us was that they might be freed from the 
bondage of hurran inventions and ordinances, as their souls 


groaned under, for which also they profess their hearty 
sorrow, so far as through ignorance or infirmity they have 
been defiled. Beside, in our daily meetings, and specially 
in the times of our solemn humiliations, we generally all 
of us bewail all our former pollutions wherewith we have 
defiled ourselves and the holy things of God, in our former 
administrations and communions ; but we rather choose to 
do it than talk of it. And we can but wonder how you 
can so boldly and resolutely renounce all the churches of 
God, for neglect of that which you know not whether they 
have neglected or no, and before you have admonished us 
of our sinfulness in such neglect, if it be found amongst 

Answer. I answer, with humble desires to the Father of 
lights for the true meekness and wisdom of his Spirit, 
here is mention of human inventions and ordinances, and 
defiling themselves and holy things of God in former 
administrations and communions, and yet no mention 
what such inventions and ordinances, what such ad 
ministrations and communions were. " We rather HOW can a 

choose to do it," saith he, " than to talk of it ;" which oppose anti 

christ, that 

makes me call to mind an expression of an eminent and {J 
worthy person amongst them in a solemn conference, viz., 
What need we speak of antichrist, can we not enjoy our 
liberties without inveighing against antichrist ? &c. 

The truth is, I acknowledge their witness against 
ceremonies and bishops ; but that yet they see not the 
evil of a national church, notwithstanding they constitute 
only particular and independent [congregations,] let their 
constant practice speak, in still joining with such churches 
and ministers in the ordinances of the word and prayer, 
and their persecuting of myself for my humble, and 
faithful, and constant admonishing of them, of such Mr Cotton 
unclean walking between a particular church, which they TgaSS^ 


national only profess to be Christ s., and a national Tonel. which 

church, and 

yet holding M r . Cotton professeth to separate from. 9 


with it. TSut how could I possibly be ignorant, as he seemeth to 

charge me, of their state, when being from first to last in 
fellowship with them, an officer amongst them, had private 
anc ^ P u kli c agitations concerning their state and condition 
of 6 w ^ n a ^ or most of their ministers, and at last suffered for 
such admonitions to them, the misery of a winter s banish- 
ment amongst the barbarians ? and yet, saith he, " You 
know not what we have done, neither have you admonished 
us of our sinfulness." 


Mr. cotton. A third scripture which I produced was Haggai ii. 13, 
14, 15, desiring that the place might be thoroughly 
weighed, and that the Lord might please to hold the scales 
himself, the prophet there telling the church of the Jews, 
that if a person unclean by a dead body touch holy things, 
those holy things become unclean unto them : and so, 
saith he, in this nation, and so is every work of their 
hands and that which they offer is unclean ; whence I 
inferred, that even church covenants made, and ordinances 
practised, by persons polluted through spiritual deadness, 
and filthiness of communion, such covenants and ordi 
nances become unclean unto them, and are profaned by 

9 ["Our joining with the ministers then proceeds to deny that Mr. Wil- 

of England in hearing of the word Hams was persecuted, or that he ad- 

and prayer, doth not argue our monished them humbly and faithfully, 

church-communion with the parish His banishment was no persecution ; 

churches in England, much less with his statement of his opinions no admo- 

the national church." Mr. Cotton nition. Cotton s Answer, p, 101.] 


Mr. Cotton. Mr. Cotton answers, " your purpose was to 
prove that churches cannot be constituted by such persons 
as are unclean by antichristian pollutions ; or if they be so 
constituted they are not to be communicated with, but 
separated from. But the prophet acknowledgeth the whole 
church of the Jews to be unclean, and yet neither denies 
them to be a church truly constituted, nor stirs up him 
self or others to separate from them." 

Answer. I acknowledge the true constitution of the The church 

of the Jews 

church of the Jews, and affirm that this their true consti- a national 

church truly 

tution was the reason why they were not to be separated 


from : for being a national church, ceremonial and typical, 
their excommunication was either putting to death in, or 
captivity out of that ceremonial Canaan. Hence Shal- 
maneser s carrying the ten tribes captive out of this land, 
is said to be the casting of them out of God s sight, 2 Kings 
xvii. [18,] which was their excommunication. 

Accordingly in the particular Christian churches, Christ Death and 

.7 . . captivity in 

Jesus cuts off by spiritual death, which is excommunica- the national 
tion : or for want of due execution of justice by that ^rl 
ordinance in his kingdom, he sells the church into spiritual 
captivity, to confused, Babylonish lords and worships, and ir. 
so drives them out of his sight. 

Now from the consequent of this place in Haggai mine 
argument stands good; and Mr. Cotton here acknow 
ledgeth it, that holy things may be all unclean to God s 
people, when they lie in their uncleanness, as this people 
did. Those scriptures, Lev. xvi. and Num. xix., which ceremonial 

. -11 uncleanness 

discourse of typical and ceremonial uncleanness, he ac- j n th na- 

J r tional 

knowledgeth to type out in the gospel the moral unclean- typS^ut 
ness either of dead works, Eph. v. 11, or dead persons, Snnes"" in 
2 Cor. vi. 14, or dead world, Gal. vi. 14. And in this Lr! pa 
place of Haggai, he acknowledgeth that God s people, 
prince and people, were denied by worldliness, in which 

E E 


condition, saith he, their oblations, their bodily labours, 
were all unclean, and found neither acceptance nor bless 
ing from the Lord. 

Therefore saith he afterward : " In the church godly 
Christians themselves, while they attend to the world 
more than to the things of God, are unclean in the sight 
of God; therefore the church cannot be constituted of 
such ; or if it be constitute of such, the people of God 
must separate from them." And, lastly, he saith, "the 
church of Christ and members thereof must separate 
themselves from their hypocrisy, and worldliness, else 
they and their duties will [still] be unclean in the sight 
of God, notwithstanding their church estate." 

Answ. What have I more spoken than Mr. Cotton him 
self hath uttered in this his explication and application of 
this scripture ? As, 

First, that godly persons may become defiled and un 
clean by hypocrisy and worldliness. 

Secondly, while they lie in such a condition of unclean- 
s ness a ^ their offerings, persons, labours, are unclean in 
cerm ng con ~ tne g ig nt f God, and have neither acceptance nor blessing 
shi^eTCiT from him ; but they and their duties are unclean in his 
sons. * sight, notwithstanding their church estate. 

Thirdly, the church of Christ cannot be constituted of 
such godly persons., when defiled with such worldliness. 

Fourthly, the church consisting of such worldly persons, 
though otherwise godly and Christian, the people of God 
must separate from them. 
inferences These are Mr. Cotton s own express words which 

from Master . 

Cotton s lUStlfj I 1 


1 [" Who seeth not, that in these his purpose ; and so bring in his 

words I express not mine own reason- reason in form of an enthymeme, 

ing or meaning, but his; and that I which he draws from it ?" Cotton s 

expressly say, the true meaning of Answer, p. 105.J 
the text will nothing more reach to 


First, my former distinction of godly persons in their 
personal respect, between God and themselves; and yet 
becoming ungodly in their outward defilements. 

Secondly, they justify my assertion of a necessity of 
cleansing from anti-christian filthiness, and communions 
with dead works, dead worships, dead persons in God s 
worship, if the touches of the dead world, or immoderate 
love of it, do so defile, as Mr. Cotton here affirmeth. 

Thirdly, if, as he saith, the church cannot be constituted 
of such godly persons as are defiled by immoderate love of 
the world, much less can it be constituted of godly persons 
defiled with the dead inventions, worships, communions of 
unregenerate and ungodly persons. 

Fourthly, he justifies a separation from such churches, 
if so constituted, or so constituting; because though 
worldliness be adultery against God, James iv. [4,] yet 
not comparable to spiritual adultery of a false bed of 
worship, ministry, &c. 


Mr. Cotton proceedeth : " The second stumbling block 
or oifence which you have taken at the way of these 
churches, is that you conceive us to walk between Christ 
and anti-christ. First, in practising separation here, and 
not repenting of our preaching and printing against it in 
our own country. Secondly, in reproaching yourself at 
Salem, and others for separation. Thirdly, in particular, 
that myself have conceived and spoken, that separation is 
a way that God hath not prospered; yet, say you, the 
truth of the church s way depends not upon the coun 
tenance of men, or upon outward peace and liberty." 

E E 2 


Unto this he answers, " that they halt not ; but walk in 
the midst of two extremes, the one of being defiled with 
the pollution of other churches, the other of renouncing 
the churches for the remnant of pollutions." 

This moderation he, with ingenuous moderation, pro- 
fesseth he sees no cause to repent of, &c. 

Answ. With the Lord s gracious assistance, we shall 
prove this middle walking to be no less than halting ; for 
which we shall show cause of repentance, beseeching Him 
that is a Prince and a Saviour to give repentance unto 
his Israel, Acts v. 31. 

First, Mr. Cotton himself confesseth, that no national, 
provincial, diocesan, or parish church, wherein some truly 
godly are not, are true churches. Secondly, he practiseth 
no church estate, but such as is constituted only of godly 
persons, nor admitteth any unregenerate or ungodly per 
son. 2 Thirdly, he confesseth a church of Christ cannot 
be constituted of such godly persons who are in bondage 
to the inordinate love of the world. Fourthly, if a church 
consist of such, God s people ought to separate from them. 3 
Mr. cotton Upon these his own confessions, I earnestly beseech 
and minceth Mr. Cotton, and all that fear God, to ponder how he can 

the root, 

of an even f ot between two extremes, 

when, according to his own confession, national churches, 
wi he parish churches, yea, a church constituted of godly per- 

acknowledg- . . 

ethtobeun- sons ffiven to inordinate love of the world, are false and to 


aain et b b rn ^ e se P arat ed from : and yet he will not have the parish 

a rlSnTdf church to be separated from for the remnant of pollution, 

ons> I conceive he meaneth ceremonies and bishops, notwith- 

2 [" Sure I am, we look at infants 3 [" These are palpable mistakes 

as members of our church, as being of those words of mine, which I ex- 

federally holy, but I am slow to be- pressed as the sum of his words, 

lieve that all of them are regenerate, which he through haste conceived to 

or truly godly." Cotton s Answer, be mine." Ib. p. 108.] 
p. 108.] 


standing that he also acknowledgeth that the generality of 
every parish in England consisteth of unregenerate per 
sons, and of thousands inbondaged, not only to worldli- 
ness, but also ignorance, superstition, scoffing, swearing, 
cursing, whoredom, drunkenness, theft, lying. What are 
two or three or more of regenerate and godly persons in 
such communions, but as two or three roses or lilies in a 
wilderness ? a few grains of good corn in a heap of chaff? The estate 

of the godly 

a few sheep among herds of wolves or swine, or (if more m j t n h gl t e h d e 

civil) flocks of goats ? a little good dough swallowed up 

with a whole bushel of leaven? or a little precious gold 

confounded and mingled with a whole heap of dross ? 

The Searcher of all hearts knows I write not this to 

reproach any, knowing that myself am by nature a child 

of wrath, and that the Father of mercies shows mercy to 

whom and when he will ; but for the name of Christ Jesus, The state of 

men must 

in loving faithfulness to my countrymen s souls, and [in] Jeered 113 
defence of truth, I remember my worthy adversary of that mi 
state and condition from which his confessions say he must 
separate, his practice in gathering of churches seems to 
say he doth separate ; and yet he professeth there are but 
some remnants of pollution amongst them, for which he 
dares not separate. 4 

* [" We wholly avoid national, which he nameth , . . suffered to 

provincial, and diocesan government thrust themselves into the fellowship 

of the churches by episcopal author- of the churches, and to sit down with 

ity; we avoid their prescript liturgies, the saints at the Lord s table. But 

and communion with open scandalous yet I count all these but remnants of 

persons in any church order; ... it pollution, when as the substance of 

is a continual sorrow of heart, and the true estate of churches abideth in I 

mourning of our souls that there is their congregational assemblies." 

yet so much of those notorious evils Cotton s Answer, p. 108.] 



Mr. Cotton. " Secondly," saith he, " I know no man 
that reproacheth Salem for their separation, nor do I 
believe that they do separate ; howsoever, if any do reproach 
them for it, I think it a sin meet to be censured, but not 
with so deep a censure as to excommunicate all the 
churches, or to separate from them before it do appear 
that they do tolerate their members in such their cause 
less reproachings. We confess the errors of men are to 
be contended against, not with reproaches, but the sword 
of the Spirit ; but on the other side, the failings of the 
churches are not forthwith to be healed by separation. It 
is not chirurgery but butchery to heal every sore in a 
member with no other but abscission from the body." 

Answ. The church of Salem was known to profess 
separation, and was generally and publicly reproached, 
and I could mention a case wherein she was punished for 
it implicitly. 5 

"^ r Cotton ^ eTQ confesseth these two things, which I 
leave to ^mself to reconcile with his former profession 
separation, k ere an( j e j sew ] iere a g a i ns t separation. First, saith he, if 
any reproach them for separation it is a sin meet to be 
censured. Secondly, the churches themselves may be 
separated from, who tolerate their members in such 
causeless reproachings. In these latter passages he seems, 
as in other his confessions and practices mentioned to be 

5 ["Mr. Williams probably refers they had chosen Mr. Williams their 

to the refusal by the General Court teacher, while he stood under question 

to listen to a petition from Salem rela- of authority, and so offered contempt 

tive to a piece of land which was to the magistrates, their petition was 

claimed as belonging to that town. refused," &c. Knowles, p. 70.] 
But according to Winthrop, because 


for it, sensible of shame, disgrace, or reproach to be cast 
on it. 

I grant with him the failings of churches are not forth- 
with to be healed by separation ; yet himself, within a 
few lines, confesseth there is a lawful separation from MmS! to 
churches that do but tolerate their members in causeless 

I confess also that it is not chirurgery but butchery, to 
heal every sore with no other medicine but with abscission 
from the body: yet himself confesseth before, that even 
churches of godly persons must be separated from, for 
immoderate worldliness : and again here he confesseth Not for a 

sore of in- 

they may be separated from, when they tolerate their 
members in such their causeless reproachings. Beside, i 

is not every sore of infirmity or ignorance, but an ulcer or son h to a be per " 
gangrene of obstinacy, for which I maintained that a per 

son ought to be cut off, or a church separated from. But 

if he call that butchery, conscientiously and peaceably to bot "against 

separate from a spiritual communion of a church or society, 

what shall it be called by the second Adam, the Lord cuting of 

them, yet 

Jesus, who gives names to all creatures and all actions, to 

cut off persons, them and theirs, branch and root, from $ 5 e u a e rance 
any civil being in their territories ; and consequently from 

the whole world, were their territories so large, because 
their consciences dare not bow down to any worship but 
what they believe the Lord Jesus appointed, and being 
also otherwise subject to the civil state and laws thereof. 6 

8 [" His banishment proceeded not whereof the magistrates were mem- 

against him or his for his own refusal bers, for deferring to give present 

of any worship, but for seditious answer to a petition of Salem, who 

opposition against the patent, and had refused to hearken to a lawful 

against the oath of fidelity offered to motion of theirs." Cotton s Answe 

the people; ... he also wrote letters p. 113.] 
of admonition to all the churches 



Thirdly, whereas I urged a speech of his own, viz. that 
God had not prospered the way of separation, and con 
ceives that I understood him of outward prosperity: he 
affirms the puritans to have been worse used in England 
than the separatist, and thus writes : " The meeting of 
the separatists may be known to the officers in court and 
winked at, when the conventicles of the puritans, as they 
call them, shall be hunted out with all diligence, and 
pursued with more violence than any law can justify." 
trovers CO for Answer. Doubtless the controversy of God hath been 
persecution. great ^fa t k is lan( ^ tnat e i t her of both have been so 

violently pursued and persecuted. I believe they are 
both the witnesses of several truths of Jesus Christ, 
against an impenitent and unchristian profession of the 
name of the Lord Jesus. 
The suffer- Now for their sufferings: as the puritans have not 

ings of the 

comparably suffered, as but seldom congregating in 
compared? separate assemblies from the common, 7 so have not any 

of them suffered unto death for the way of nonconformity 
Mr. udaii, to ceremonies, &c. Indeed the worthy witness Mr. Udall, 8 

Mr. Penry, * 

Mr! Green* was near unto death f r n i s witness against bishops and 
vrood ceremonies ;9 but Mr. Penry, 10 Mr. Barrow, Mr. Green- 

7 [" It seemeth he never read the ceedingly rare book is in Mr. Offer s 
story of the classes in Northampton- library.] 

shire, Suffolk, Essex, London, Cam- 9 [" He died by the annoyance of 

bridge, discovered by a false brother to the prison: when the coroner s jury 

Doctor Bancroft." Cotton s Answer, came to survey the dead body of Mr. 

p. 116, Neal s Puritans, i. 22G, 319.] Udall in prison, he bled freshly, 

8 [Udall had been a tutor to Queen though cold before, as a testimony 
Elizabeth in the learned languages, against the murderous illegal proceed- 
yet for writing a little book against ings of the state against him." Cot- 
Diocesan Church Government and ton s Answer, p. 116, Neal, i. 339.] 
Ceremonies he was condemned to die, 10 [Mr. Cotton says, that Penry 
and would have been executed but confessed that he deserved death for 
for the queen s feelings of respect to having seduced many to separation 
her aged tutor. A copy of this ex- from hearing the word in the parish 


wood followed the Lord Jesus with their gibbets on their 
shoulders, and were hanged with him and for him, in the 
way of separation : * many more have been condemned to 
die, banished and choaked in prisons, I could produce 
upon occasion. 

Again, I believe that there hardly hath ever been a Few con- 

f f scientious 

conscientious separatist, who was not first a puritan : for, ^JJst 818 
as Mr. Canne hath unanswerably proved, 2 the grounds and ^ r s e . puri " 
principles of the puritans against bishops and ceremonies, 
and profaneness of people professing Christ, and the 
necessity of Christ s flock and discipline, must necessarily, The noncon- 
if truly followed, lead on to and enforce a separation from grounds en- 

A force separa- 

such ways, worships, and worshippers, to seek out the true tion - 
way of God s worship according to Christ Jesus. 

But what should be the reason, since the separatist 
witnesseth against the root of the church constitution 
itself, that yet he should find, as Mr. Cotton saith, more 
favour than the puritan or nonconformist ? 

Doubtless the reasons are evident : first, most of God s Most of the 


servants who, out of sight of the ignorance, unbelief, and g^ 
profaneness of the body of the national church, have ple> 
separated and durst not have longer fellowship with it : 
I say, most of them have been poor and low, and not such 
gainful customers to the bishops, their courts and officers. 

That worthv instrument of Christ s praise, Mr. Ains- The poverty 

. . -. 7 of Mr. Ains- 

worth, during some time, and some time or his great worth. 
labours in Holland, lived upon ninepence per week, with 

churches, so that their souls were obloquy and discredit on these two 

justly required at his hand. Ibid. p. witnesses to the truth ; but most 

117. This can scarcely be correct unjustly. Answer p. 117.] 

if we judge from the general tenor a [In " A Necessitie of Separation 

of Penry s character. See Hanbury s from the Church of England proved 

Hist. Memorials, i. 79, note e.~] by Nonconformist Principles, &c. 

1 [See Broadmead Records, Intro. By John Canne, pastor of the Ancient 

p. xxxviii. Hanbury, i. 35, 62. Mr. English Church at Amsterdam, 1634, 

Cotton endeavours to throw no little 4to. pp. 264, 


" roots boiled, &c. 3 Whereas on the other side, such of 
? a a ir e boot e y a God s servants as have been nonconformists have had fair 
estates, been great persons, have had rich livings and 
benefices, of which the bishops and theirs, like greedy 
wolves, have made the more desirable prey. 

The separa- Secondly, it is a principle in nature to prefer a professed 
fe?ed P ene enemv > before a pretended friend. Such as have separated 
S?puriteM nave been looked at by the bishops and theirs, as known 
an( l professed enemies: whereas the puritans professed 
subjection, and have submitted to the bishops, their courts, 

subjects to 1 . . 

the bishops, their officers, their common prayer and worships : and yet, 

as the bishops have well known, with no greater affection 

than the Israelites bore their Egyptian cruel taskmasters. 

Mr. cotton. jJe saith, " God hath not prospered the way of separa 

tion with peace amongst themselves, and growth of grace." 

Answer. The want of peace may befal the truest 

churches of the Lord Jesus [as] at Antioch, Corinth, Gala- 

tia, who were exercised with great distractions. Secondly, 

it is a common character of a false church, maintained by 

diurdfmay the smith s and cutler s shop, to enjoy a quiet calm and 

present a peaceable tranquillity, none daring, for fear of civil punish- 

greater ment, to question, obiect, or differ from the common road 

(though J 

a cust o m - Thus sings that great whore, the antichristian 
church, Rev. xviii. [7,] / sit as a queen, am no widow, see no 

3 [" Mr. Ainsworth s name is of from the preface, by a friend of 

best esteem, without all exception, in Ainsworth, to his Annotations on 

that way who refused communion Solomon s Song, do not appear in 

with hearing in England. And if his the least to invalidate the statement 

people suffered him to live on nine- of Williams, In the earlier part 

pence a week, with roots boiled, of his exile, in common with Johnson 

surely either the people were grown to and the other separatists, he was 

a very extreme low estate, or else the exposed to great straits and difficulties, 

growth of their godliness was grown and it may be to that period that 

to a very low ebb." Cotton s Answer, Mr. Williams refers. See Hanbury, 

p. 122. The remarks of Mr. Han- i. 433.] 
bury, with the quotation he produces 



sorrow: while Christ s dearest complains she is forsaken, 
sits weeping as a widow, Lam. i. [1.] Thirdly, God s ^JfJJ! " 
people in that way, have sometimes long enjoyed sweet S sweet- 
peace and soul contentment in England, Holland, New peac e a ?n 
England, and other places, and would not have exchanged of their holy 


a day of such an holy and peaceable harmony for 
thousands in the courts of princes, seeing no other, and 
in sincerity seeking after the Lord Jesus. And yet, I 
humbly conceive, that as David with the princes, and 
thirty thousand Israelites, carrying the ark on the 
shoulders of the oxen, leaped and danced with great 
rejoicing, until God smote Uzzah for his error and dis 
order, and made a breach, and a teaching monument Breaches 
of Perez Uzzah, the breach of Uzzah : so in like manner animus" be 

111 IT- (* i i i among all 

all those celebrations or the spiritual ark or ordinances, God>s P e - 

ple, to make 

which yet I have known, although for the present ac- J^J j^jf- 
companied with great rejoicing and triumphing, yet as ordinances 7 
they have not been after the due order, so have they all SS S.* 
met with, and still must, a Perez Uzzah, breaches and 
divisions, until the Lord Jesus discover, direct, and en 
courage his servants in his own due holy order and 

And for growth in grace, notwithstanding that amongst 
all sorts of God s witnesses some false brethren creep in 
as cheaters, and spies, and Judases, dishonouring the 
name of Christ Jesus, and betraying his witnesses : yet Many grace- 
Satan himself, the accuser of the saints, cannot but confess amongst 

God s peo- 

that multitudes of God s witnesses, reproached with the ple - 
names of Brownists, and anabaptists, have kept them 
selves from the error of the wicked, and grow in grace 
and knowledge of the Lord Jesus, endeavouring to Multitudes 
cleanse themselves from all filthiness both of flesh and * n Kly 
spirit, and to finish holiness in the fear of God. I will hav S ep?o- hat 

IT -i . fessed sepa- 

not make odious and envious comparisons, but desire ration - 


that all that name the name of the Lord Jesus may 
depart wholly and for ever from iniquity. 


Mr. cotton. Lastly he addeth, " That such as erring through sim 
plicity and tenderness, have grown in grace, have grown 
also to discern their lawful liberty in the hearing of the 
word from English preachers." 4 

Four sorts Answer. I will not question the uprightness of some 
slides from who have gone back from many truths of God which they 

separation ,, 

far from have professed : yet mine own experience of four sorts 

growth in 

grace. wno have backslidden I shall report, for a warning to all 
into whose hands these may come, to be like Antipas, Rev. 
ii. [13,] a faithful witness to the death, to any of the 
truths of the Lord Jesus, which he shall please to betrust 
them with : 

some back- First, I have known no small number of such turn to 
fofimiiiBm. absolute Familism, and under their pretences of great 
raptures of love deny all obedience to, or seeking after the 
pure ordinances and appointments of the Lord Jesus. 
some to Secondly, others have laid the reins upon the necks of 

their consciences, and like the dog licked up their vomit of 
former looseness and profaneness of lip and life ; and have 
been so far from growing in grace, that they have turned 
the grace of God into wantonness. 

some to Thirdly, others backsliding have lost the beauty and 

of othm. shining of a tender conscience toward God, and of a 

1 [" This I speak with respect to defend, the lawful liberty of hearing 

Mr. Robinson and to his church, who the word from the godly preachers of 

grew to acknowledge, and in a judicious the parishes in England." Cotton s 

and godly discourse to approve and Answer, p. 123.] 


merciful compassion toward men, becoming most fierce 
persecutors of their own formerly fellow-witnesses, and of 
any other who have differed in conscience from them. 

Lastly, others although preserved from familism, pro- . . 
faneness, and persecuting of others, yet the leaf of their 
Christian course hath withered, the latter beauty and &c 
savour of their holiness hath not been like their former ; 
and they have confessed and do, their sin, their weakness, 
their bondage, and wish they were at liberty in their 
former freedom; and some have gone with little peace, 
but sorrow to their graves, confessing to myself and 
others, that God never prospered them, in soul or body, 
since they sold away his truth, which once they had bought 
and made profession of it never to sell it. 


Yea ; but, saith he, " they have grown to discern their Mr . Co tton. 
lawful liberty, to return to the hearing of the word from 
English preachers." 

Answer. Here I might engage myself in a controversy, 
which neither this treatise will permit, nor is there need, Mr Canne . s 
since it hath pleased the Father of lights to stir up the Mr W Rot>in- 
spirit of a faithful witness of his truth in this particular, 
Mr. Canne, to make a large and faithful reply to a book, 
printed in Mr. Kobinson s name, tending to prove such a 
lawful liberty. 5 

5 [Mr. Robinson s book was John Robinson, late pastor to the 

published nine years after his death. English Church of God in Leyden, 

It was entitled, " Of the Lawfulness and Printed Anno 1634." Mr. 

of Hearing of the Ministers in the Canne s work in reply was entitled 

Church of England : penned by that "A Stay against Straying," 4to. 1639. 
Learned and Reverend Divine, Mr. 


For such excellent and worthy persons whom Mr. 
Mr cotton s Cotton here intends by the name of English preachers, I 
concerning acknowledge myself unworthy to hold the candle to them: 

the minis- 

tT ?- yet I shall humbly present what Mr. Cotton himself pro- 

fesseth in three particulars : 

First, concerning this title, English preachers. 

Secondly, hearing the word from such English 

Thirdly, the lawful calling of such to the ministry or 
service, according to Christ Jesus. 

For the first, he acknowledgeth, that the ordinary 
ministers of the gospel are pastors, teachers, bishops, 

ln -i i i 

overseers, elders, and that their proper work is to feed and 
g vern a truly converted, holy, and godly people, gathered 
into a flock or church estate ; and not properly preachers 
to convert, beget, make disciples, which the apostles and 
evangelists professedly were. Now then, that man that 
professeth himself a minister, and professeth to feed a 
flock or church with the ordinances of word and prayer, 
he must needs acknowledge that his proper work is not to 
Preachers preach for conversion, which is most preposterous amongst 

and pastors * m . . . 

Ear different a converted Christian people, fed up with ordinances in 
church estate. So that, according to Mr. Cotton s con 
fession, English preachers are not pastors, teachers, bishops, 
elders, but preachers of glad news, evangelists, men sent 
to convert, and gather churches, apostles, ambassadors, 
trumpeters, with proclamation from the King of kings, to 
convert, subdue, bring in rebellious, unconverted, unbe 
lieving, unchristian souls to the obedience and subjection 
of the Lord Jesus. 

conversion I readily confess that at the pastor s, or shepherd s 

accidental, feeding of his flock, and the prophet s prophecying in the 

church, an unbeliever coming in is convinced, falls on his 

face and acknowledgeth God to be there : yet this is acci- 


dental that any unbeliever should come in; and the 
pastor s work is to feed his flock, Acts xx. [28,] and 
prophecy is not for unbelievers, but for them that believe, 
to edify, exhort, and comfort the church, 1 Cor. xiv. 
3, 22. 

I also readily acknowledge, that it hath pleased God to Personal re 
work a personal repentance in the hearts of thousands in wrought in 

* thousands 

Germany, England, Low Countries, France, Scotland, 

Ireland, &c., yea, and who knows but in Italy, Spain, 
Rome, not only by such men who decline the name of 
bishops, priests, deacons, the constituted ministry of 
England hitherto ; but also by such as have owned them, 
as Luther remaining a monk, and famous holy men re 
maining and burning Lord Bishops. For all this hath 
been under the notion of ministers feeding their flocks, 
not of preachers sent to convert the unconverted and un 

This passage I present for two reasons ; First because TO preach 
so many excellent and worthy persons mainly preach for conversion 
conversion, as conceiving;, and that trulv* the bodv of the people to 

f m J whomaman 

people of England to be in a natural and unregenerate J^jH^J^ 
estate ; and yet account they themselves fixed and 
constant officers and ministers to particular parishes or 

congregations, unto whom they also administer the holy disorder. 
things of God, though sometimes few, and sometimes 
none regenerate or new born have been found amongst 
them; which is a matter of high concernment touching 
the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the souls of men. 
Secondly, that in these great earthquakes, wherein it God>g eo lo 
pleaseth God to shake foundations civil and spiritual, such JJXJ J 8 * 
a ministry of Christ Jesus may be sought after whose nTb7 
proper work is preaching, for converting and gathering of convert. 
true penitents to the fellowship of the Son of God. 



Mr. cotton. The second thing which Mr. Cotton himself hath pro 
fessed concerning English preachers is, that "although the 
word, yet not the seals may be received from them : 
because," saith he, "there is no communion in hearing, 
and the word is to be preached to all, but the seals," he 
conceives, and that rightly, "are profaned in being dis 
pensed to the ungodly, &c." 

The com- Answer. Mr. Cotton himself maintaineth, that "the 

munion or . . 

fellowship dispensing: of the word in a church estate, is Christ s 

of the word 

feeding of his flock, Cant. i. 8: Christ s kissing of his 
spouse, or wife, Cant. i. 2 : Christ s embracing of his 
spouse in the marriage bed, Cant. i. 16 : Christ s nursing 
of his children at his wife s breast, Cant. iv. :" and is 
there no communion between the shepherd and his sheep ? 
the husband and his wife in chaste kisses and embraces ? 
and the mother and her child at the breast ? 

Besides, he confesseth, that that fellowship in the 
gospel, Phil. i. 5, is a fellowship or communion in the 
apostles doctrine, community, breaking of bread, and 
prayer, in which the first church continued, Acts ii. 46. 
All which overthrows that doctrine of a lawful partici 
pation of the word and prayer in a church estate, where it 
is not lawful to communicate in the breaking of bread or 
seals. 6 

6 [" If this be all the conclusion only in hearing and prayer, before 

he striveth for, I shall never contend and after sermon ; and joineth not 

with him about it. But this is that with them, neither in their covenant, 

I deny, a man to participate in a nor in the seals of the covenant. 

church-estate, where he partaketh Cotton s Answer, p. 129.] 



Thirdly, concerning the lawful commission or calling Eminent 
of English preachers. Mr. Cotton himself, and others accounted in 

L Old England, 

most eminent in New England, have freely confest, that ]|j!J| lves 

notwithstanding their former profession of ministry in 
Old England, yea, in New England, until they received agtad 
a calling from a particular church, that they were but 
private Christians. 7 

Secondly, that Christ Jesus hath appointed no other 
calling to the ministry, but such as they practise in New 
England ; and therefore consequently, that all other which 
is not from a particular congregation of godly persons, is 
none of Christ s. 8 

As first, a calling or commission received from the False cai- 

, . . lings or com- 

blSllOpS. missions for 

the ministry. 

Secondly, from a parish of natural and unregenerate 

Thirdly, from some few godly persons, yet remaining in 
church fellowship after the parish way. 

Lastly, that eminent gifts and abilities are but 
qualifications fitting and preparing for a call or office, 

7 [That is, as Mr. Cotton explains 8 [" We are not so masterly and 

it, because "being cast out by the peremptory in our apprehensions; and 

usurping power of the prelacy, and yet the more plainly and exactly 

dismissed, though against their wills, all church-actions are carried on 

by our congregations, we looked at according to the letter of the rule, 

ourselves as private members, and the more glory shall we give unto 

not officers to any church here, until the Lord Jesus, and procure the 

one or other church might call us more peace to our consciences and 

unto office." Any other sense is either to our churches, and reserve more 

a mistake, or a " fraudulent expression purity and power to all our adminis- 

of our minds." Answer p. 131.] trations." Cotton s Answer, p. 132. 

F F 


according to 1 Tim. iii. Tit. i. All which premises duly 
considered, I humbly desire of the Father of lights, that 
Mr. Cotton, and all that fear God, may try what will 
abide the fiery trial in this particular, when the Lord 
Jesus shall be revealed in naming fire, &c. 


Mr. cotton. The close of his letter is an answer to a passage 
of mine, which he repeateth in an objection thus : " But 
this you fear is to condemn the witnesses of Jesus, the 
separate churches in London and elsewhere, and our 
jealous God will visit us for such arrearages: yea, the 
curse of the angel to Meroz will fall upon us, because we 
come not forth to help Jehovah against the mighty : we 
pray not for them, we come not at them, (but at parishes 
frequently); yea, we reproach and censure them." 

To which he answereth, "that neither Christ nor his 
apostles after him, nor prophets before him, ever delivered 
that way. That they fear not the angel s curse, because 
it is not to help Jehovah but Satan, to withdraw people 
from the parishes where they have found more presence 
of Christ, and evidence of his Spirit, than in separated 
churches: that they pray not for them, because they 
cannot pray in faith for a blessing upon their separation : 
and that it is little comfort to hear of separated churches, 
as being the inventions of men ; and blames them, that 
being desirous of reformation, they stumble not only at 
the inventions of men, but for their sakes at the ordinances 
of the Lord: because they separate not only from the 
parishes, but from the church at Plymouth, and of that 


whereof Mr. Lathrop was pastor, 9 who, as he saith, not 
only refuse all the inventions of men, but choose to serve 
the Lord in his own ordinances. Only, lastly, he pro- 
fesseth his inward sorrow that myself help erring, though 
zealous souls, against the mighty ordinances of the Lord, 
which whosoever stumble at shall be broken, because 
whosoever will not kiss the Son, that is, will not hear 
and embrace the words of his mouth, shall perish in 
their way." 

Answer. However Mr. Cotton believes and writes of 
this point, yet hath he not duly considered these following 

First, the faithful labours of many witnesses of Jesus The garden 
Christ, extant to the world, abundantly proving, that the 
church of the Jews under the Old Testament in the type, x" 
and the church of the Christians under the New Testa- 

...i ... 1,1 r> ,t -11 wa U f sepa- 

ment in the antitype, were both separate from the world : ration from 

.the world. 

and that when they have opened a gap in the hedge, or when 
wall of separation, between the garden of the church and 
the wilderness of the world, God hath ever broke down 
the wall itself, removed the candlestick, &c. and made his MS ga 
garden a wilderness, as at this day. And that therefore wilderness. 
if he will ever please to restore his garden and paradise 
again, it must of necessity be walled in peculiarly unto 
himself from the world, and that all that shall be saved 
out of the world are to be transplanted out of the wilder 
ness of the world, and added unto his church or garden. 1 

9 [See Broadmead Records, Intro. oecumenical, national, provincial, dio- 

p. Ixxix.] cesan bodies, Rom. xii. 2. From the 

1 [" The world is taken in scripture world, as taken for civil government 

more ways than one, and so is separa- of it, we are to separate our church- 

tion ; as when the apostle exhorteth bodies, and the government thereof in 

the Romans, not to conform their frame and constitution." Cotton s 

church-bodies according to the plat- Answer, pp. 135,136.] 
form of the Roman monarchy, into 

F P 2 


Secondly, that all the grounds and principles leading to 
raenariiy oppose bishops, ceremonies, common prayer, prostitution 
separation of the ordinances of Christ to the ungodly, and to the 

of the church . n ~, , ,. ., 

from the un- true practice oi Christ s own ordinances, do necessarily, 
clean and as before I intimated, and Mr. Canne hath fully proved. 

holy things. J 1 

conclude a separation of holy from unholy, penitent from 
impenitent, godly from ungodly, &c; and that to frame 
any other building upon such grounds and foundations, 
is no other than to raise the form of a square house upon 
the keel of a ship, which will never prove a soul saving 
true ark or church of Jesus Christ, according to the 

Thirdly, the multitudes of holy and faithful men and 
women, who since Queen Mary s days have witnessed this 
The great truth by writing, disputing, and in suffering loss of goods and 
this cause, friends, in imprisonments, banishments, death, &c. I con 
fess the nonconformists have suffered also ; but they that 
have suffered for this cause, have far exceeded, in not only 
witnessing to those grounds of the nonconformists, but to 
those truths also, the unavoidable conclusions of the non 
conformists principles. 
Mr. cotton s Fourthly, what is that which Mr. Cotton and so many 

and others 

tiTeoTsepa - nun dreds fearing God in New England walk in, but a way 
NewVng- f separation? Of what matter do they profess to con 
stitute their churches, but of true godly persons ? In what 
form do they cast this matter, but by a voluntary uniting, 
or adding of such godly persons, whom they carefully 
examine, and cause to make a public confession of sin, and 
profession of their knowledge and grace in Christ ? 2 Nay ; 

2 [" Our not receiving all comers other duties, it argueth indeed that 

unto the communion of the Lord s such persons either think themselves 

table, and other parts of church fel- unfit materials for church fellowship, 

lowship, saving only unto the public or else that we conceive them to be 

hearing of the word and presence at as stones standing in need of a little 


when other English have attempted to set up a congrega 
tion after the parishional way, have they not been sup 
pressed? Yea; have they not professedly and lately 
answered many worthy persons, whom they account godly 
ministers and people, that they could not permit them to 
live in the same commonwealth together with them, if 
they set up any other church and worship than what 
themselves practise ? 3 Let their own souls, and the souls Mr. cotton 

of others seriously ponder in the fear of God, what should 


be the reason why themselves so practising, should perse- 

cute others for not leaving open a gap of liberty to escape 
persecution and the cross of Christ, by frequenting the 
parishes in Old England, which parishes themselves per- NewEng n - 
secute in New England, and will not permit them to 
breathe in the common air amongst them. 

Fifthly, in the parishes, which Mr. Cotton holds but 
the inventions of men, 4 however they would have liberty 
to frequent the worship of the word, yet they separate A great 
from the sacraments ; and yet, according to Mr. Cotton s the escapin 

. of the cross 

own principles, as before, there is as true communion in of christ - 
the ministration of the word in a church estate as in the 
seals : what mystery should be in this, but that here also 

more hewing and squaring before they cult to reconcile this disclaimer with 

be laid as living stones in the walls of facts, unless we attribute ignorance to 

the Lord s house." Cotton s Answer, Mr. Cotton. See before, p. 233, 

p. 139.] note 8.] 

3 ["Our practice in suppressing * [Mr. Cotton calls this an untruth, 

such as have attempted to set up a yet he adds, " I hold that the receiv- 

parishional way, I never heard of ing all the inhabitants in the parish 

such a thing here to this day. And into the full fellowship of the church, 

if any such thing were done before and the admitting of them all unto 

my coming into the country, I do not the liberty of all the ordinances, is an 

think it was done by forcible com- human corruption, and so if he will, 

pulsion, but by rational conviction." an human invention." Answer, p. 

Cotton s Answer, p. 139. It is diffi* 140.] 


the cross or gibbet of Christ may be avoided in a great 
measure, if persons come to church, &c. 

Lastly, however, he saith, he hath not found such 

presence of Christ, and evidence of his Spirit in such 

The New churches, as in the parishes : what should be the reason of 

English . . . 

their great rejoicings and boastings of their own separa- 
tions in New England, insomuch that some of the most 
ante** eminent amongst them have affirmed that even the apostles 
the b apostfes. churches were not so pure? Surely if the same New 
English churches were in Old England, they could not 
meet without persecution, which therefore in Old England 
they avoid by frequenting the way of church worship, 
which in New England they persecute the parishes. 

Upon these considerations, how can Mr. Cotton be 

offended that I should help (as he calls them) any zealous 

souls, not against the mighty ordinances of the Lord 

Jesus, but to seek after the Lord Jesus without halting ? 

The refor- Yea ; why should Mr. Cotton, or any desirous to practise 


. . . 

reformation, kindle a fire of persecution against such zeal- 
ous souls, especially considering that themselves, had they 
so inveighed against bishops, common prayer, &c., in Ed 
ward the Sixth s days, had been accounted as great here 
tics, in those reforming times, as any now can be in these ? 
yet would it have been then, and since hath it been, great 
oppression and tyranny to persecute their consciences, and 
still will it be for them to persecute the consciences of 
others in Old or New England. 

How can I better end than Mr. Cotton doth, by warn 
ing, that all that will not kiss the Son, that is, hear and 
embrace the words of his mouth, shall perish in their way, 
Persecution Ps. ii. 12. And I desire Mr. Cotton, and every soul to 
whom these lines may come, seriously to consider in this 
controversy, if the Lord Jesus were himself in person in 




Old or New England, what church, what ministry, what 
worship, what government he would set up, and what 
persecution he would practise toward them that would not 
receive Him? 5 

5 [" The answer is near at hand . . . 
Those mine enemies which would not 
that I should reign over them } bring 
them hither, and slay them before my 
face, Luke xix. 27. And yet I would 
not be so understood as if Christ did 

allow his vicegerents to practise all 
that himself would practise in his own 
person. For not all the practices or 
acts of Christ, but the laws of Christ, 
are the rules of man s administra 
tions." Cotton s Answer, p. 144.] 




Page 7, line 4, for "to [all] men," read " all men." 

21, dele "men." 

8, line 32, for "He that believeth shall not be damned," read "He that 
believeth not shall be damned" 









APRIL 28th, 1848. 

Mr. CHARLES JONES in the Chair. Prayer by Mr. ROTHERY. 
E. B. UNDERBILL, Esq., read the Annual Report, and GEORGE 
OFFOR, Esq., presented the Cash Accounts and Financial State 

It was moved by Dr. Cox, seconded by Rev. W. JONES, of 
Stepney, and resolved unanimously : 

"That the gratifying Report now read be approved, printed, 
and circulated among the Subscribers under the direction of the 

It was moved by GEORGE OFFOR, Esq., seconded by Rev. R. 
MORRIS, of Manchester, and resolved unanimously : 

" That the Gentlemen whose names follow be the Officers and 
Council for the year ensuing." 




Rev. W. JONES. 



Rev. J. ANGUS, M.A. 

Rev. C. M. BIRRELL. 


Rev. W. H. BLACK. 

Rev. W. BROCK. 



Rev. F. A. Cox, D.D. LL.D. 

Rev. T. S. CRISP. 

Rev. B. DAVIES, Ph. D. 

Rev. B. EVANS. 

Rev. B. GODWIN, D.D. 

Rev. F. W. GOTCH, M.A. 

Rev. W. GROSER. 

Rev. J. H. HINTON, M.A. 

Rev. J. HOBY, D.D. 


G. F. KEMP, Esq. 


Rev. W. H. MURCH, D.D. 

Rev. J. P. MURSELL. 



Rev. G. H. ORCHARD. 


Rev. J. J. OWEN. 
Rev. J. SPRIGG, M.A. 
Rev. E. STEANE, D.D, 
Rev. C. STOVEL. 

The Meeting was closed with prayer by Rev. Mr. SMITH, of 
Park Street. 


IT is not in the power of a literary Society such as 
this to lay before the Subscribers matters of exciting 
interest. It is enough if its object be accomplished 
satisfactorily to the Subscribers, and the condition of 
their funds allow the progressive fulfilment of the 
purposes of its formation. 

At the last Annual Meeting the number of Sub 
scribers to the first year s publications registered, was 
1044 ; that has been increased during the year to 1259. 
The number up to the present moment for the volumes 
for 1847, is 1007 ; but there remains a very considerable 
amount of subscriptions unpaid. The list will of course 
be variable, and deficiencies must continually occur from 
the various incidents of life. 

For the year 1847, the reprint of Bunyan s Pilgrim s 
Progress from the original editions, has been placed in 
the hands of the Subscribers. This very unique volume 
has met with the entire approbation of the Society, and 
supplies a desideratum in the literary world at large a 
critical and authentic edition of the great Dreamer s 
immortal work. The labour involved in this undertaking, 

the useful and interesting introduction accompanying it, 
and the passage of the work through the press, have been 
gratuitously afforded to the Society by its very able 
editor, George Offor, Esq. It was the wish of the Council 
to complete the year s issue with a reprint of Henry 
Danver s Treatise of Baptism. The very great labour, 
however, involved in its preparation for the press, has 
not permitted the editor, the Rev. "W". H. Black, to have 
it in a sufficient state of forwardness for immediate pub 
lication. The Council have therefore substituted for it, 
" The Bloudy Tenent of Persecution Discussed," by Roger 
Williams, the first sheets of which are in the press, and 
they hope to place it in the hands of the Subscribers by 
the end of July. The controversy which forms the 
subject of this most valuable work, is of no less interest 
at the present time than when the author of it became 
an outcast, an exile, and a wanderer in the wilds of 
America to escape from the persecuting spirit of the 
Pilgrim Fathers. Mr. Williams was the honoured founder 
of Rhode Island State, the first of the United States in 
which entire and perfect liberty of conscience was per 
mitted and enjoyed. The work now preparing is of 
extreme rarity, three copies only being known to exist in 
this country, and two in America. It is being reprinted 
from the copy in the Bodleian library at Oxford. 

The Council have in preparation for the year 1848, 
the first volume of the Dutch Martyrology, and a volume 
of John Canne s works. The Book of Martyrs has been 
undertaken at the earnest request of many of the Sub 
scribers, and is in course of translation by a gentleman 
who has for some years resided in Holland. He has 
already made considerable progress in the work, so that 

the Council confidently anticipate the pleasure of laying 
open to the English public during the present year this 
treasury of examples of Christian patience and endurance 
under persecution. The portion of the work in hand 
will probably form three volumes. 

The name of Mr. Canne is mostly known by his 
biblical labours ; but he was also remarkable for his clear 
insight into the nature of the constitution of Christ s 
church, which he developed in a series of works both 
noble in sentiment, and powerful in argumentation. The 
first volume of his works will appear under the editorial 
supervision of the Rev. Charles Stovel. 

Other works are also in hand, and being matured for 
publication in future years. Such are the writings of 
William Dell, Christopher Blackwood, William Kiffin, 
Benjamin Keach, and others, with various collections of 
documents relating to the history and faith of the early 
English Baptists, 

Resolutions commendatory of the Society, were passed 
in the early part of the year at the Western and 
Gloucestershire Associations of Baptist Churches, and 
also by the General Assembly of General Baptist 

The Council has had to regret the loss sustained by 
the departure from this country of the Rev. Dr. Davies, 
whose advice and judgment were of the most valuable 
kind. His successor at Stepney College, the Rev. W. 
Jones, M. A., has favoured the Society by undertaking the 
office thus vacated. 

A resolution has been passed to grant the same 
privileges to the Sunday School Library of any congre 
gation, which has hitherto been confined to the minister. 


A second list of ten subscribers will entitle the library 
to a free copy, the first ten being regarded as entitling 
the minister. 

The Council have it in purpose to extend the useful 
ness of the Society by additional lectures, so soon as 
arrangements can be made. They feel assured of the 
co-operation of their brethren in this matter. 

Although so far great encouragement and success have 
attended their labours, it is of importance that the Sub 
scribers should not only maintain their subscriptions, but 
by personal recommendation endeavour to supply the 
places of those who fail by death, removals, or other 
causes. The efficiency of the Society depends on its 
numbers, and the larger its subscription list the more 
will it accomplish in the reproduction of these best 
memorials of the men who have preceded us in the strife 
for the establishment of a kingdom which is not of this 
world, and which when established shall never pass 



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